Dec 26, 2007

Two Weeks and Counting...

I haven't cooked dinner in two weeks. Well, I guess there was that day I made tacos...and the Sunday that I threw chicken, stuffing, and potatoes into the crockpot, but seriously, I haven't really made dinner in two weeks.

I am home on vacation until January 2nd, and I had such high hopes of cleaning the kitchen (finally!), and making some good dinners. It sounded like such a nice change of pace from all the holiday snacking. However, it wasn't meant to be tonight. I hardly slept last night due to Duncan coughing, weird dreams, and Patrick pulling the covers off me every time he rolled over in bed. I slept on the couch for about an hour, awoke from a freaky dream, ran upstairs and jumped into bed. When my heart finally stopped pounding, I realized that I was developing a migraine. It was 4 AM and since I can't take my migraine medication, I was out of luck. I awoke at 7:30 AM with an excruciating migraine - an I-can't-lift-my-head-from-the-pillow migraine. I took some medicine and stayed on the couch until 12 PM. It was at this time that I realized that there was no chance in hell that I would be making dinner...or cleaning the stupid kitchen.

So tonight's dinner is Jimmy John's...and while I feel guilty for another night of restaurant dining, I just don't really care. I know that I should be feeling better in a few weeks and that little by little I should be able to ramp up my cooking. I even got the Cooking Light cook book with every single recipe from 2007! I am actually able to look at the pictures without gagging, so I'm pretty darn proud of myself.

On the pregnancy front, I'm in my 9th week and I'm feeling...well, I've had migraines every day for about a week, I'm still nauseated (although the Phenergan is helping), and I'm bloated. Everything I've read said that this is all very normal, and that the migraines and nausea should begin to taper off by week 11.

Sometimes I feel like a giant science experiment. Other times I get excited when I read that the embryo (I don't think it's officially a fetus until next week), has four chambers to the heart and has developed elbows. I look forward to the day when it's head is proportionate to its body, so it no longer looks like a deformed potato. Because I pretty much look the same as I did 10 weeks ago, I don't feel a huge attachment to "it" yet, but that will come with the first ultrasound and when we hear the heartbeat. Duncan calls it the "baby" while I refer to it as a stowaway, a fugitive, or a freeloader. Of course, I mean this in the best way possible...


Dec 21, 2007

Too Much?

I worry that I'm taking too many painkillers for my migraines. I don't have any other options - Tylenol isn't helping, and there isn't anything else I can take.

I just hope it isn't too much...

Dec 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Skie!

Today is my sister's 38th birthday. I got to talk to her tonight for almost an hour - a shocker when you think she has two kids and I called her during the "witching hour."

Some of my favorite memories of my sister:
  1. Building the most awesome forts in our bedrooms during the summer and on winter weekends. We'd hold up the blankets with these monster encyclopedias...inevitably they'd fall on one of us in the middle of the night. And we would giggle until we fell back asleep.

  2. Sitting on the driveway with our coloring books, waiting for my dad to come home from work. I admired my sister, who was creative even back then, and would ask her for advice on what colors to use. Her standard response was, "Any color your heart desires."

  3. Spending the night in my sister's dorm room at Indiana University. I thought I was so cool back then (despite being a shy 16-year old). She introduced me to her friends and all the guys she knew. I was too young for them, but that didn't stop me from forgetting all about those silly high school boys.

  4. Rocking out at the INXS concert at the UIC Pavilion in 1988. We had 20th row seats and we stood on the metal folding chairs and screamed during our favorite songs.

  5. Coming up with the nickname "Skie," a name that we call each other. She's Skie and I'm Skie. It's a name that we've used for...I don't know how many years, and one that somehow morphed from the word "sister." I'm not even going to try to explain it.

  6. Attending our monthly Sunday matinees. Sometimes we'd be the only people in the theatre, but we liked it like that. It was our time together as adults - no boyfriends or husbands. Just the two of us, watching a movie that no one else would want to see with us. We had some of our best conversations as we left the theatre.

  7. Giggling about our inside jokes - some that we've shared since I was 13 and she was 16. "Talkin' to ya' cordless" and "I'll wait for you forevah..." are two of my favorites.

So, happy birthday, Skie. Can't wait to see you in a few days...

Dec 17, 2007

Praying to the Phenergan Gods

The late-night sickness started coming earlier and earlier until it became all-day sickness. I went from having a healthy appetite to a non-existent appetite. I'm hungry, but put me in front of food and I will refuse all of it. Nothing is appetizing to me. Sure, it all sounds good, and it even smells good, but I don't actually want to eat any of it.

My diet has consisted of bananas, graham crackers, pretzels, cheese & crackers, and plain noodles. The weird thing is now all of these foods (even the mere thought of them) make me nauseous.

After 5 days on vitamin B6 supplements to combat the sickness, I was forced to call the doctor, who promptly prescribed me an anti-nausea medication - Phenergan. It's supposed to cause significant drowsiness. long as I stop feeling like throwing up 24/7.

So I'm wondering when the excitement of this situation will kick in. That initial sense of panic seems to have passed (I'm sure I'll have more of those moments as the weeks pass), but seriously, when will I really feel pregnant? When we decide on how to decorate the "spare bedroom"? When we start calling it the nursery instead of the spare bedroom? When I have that first ultrasound? When I outgrow my pants? When I feel the baby move? When Patrick and I go to Target to start a registry and I get to watch him randomly zap things with the scanner gun like he did when we were getting married?

This is all weird, wild stuff...

Dec 13, 2007

Things I've Learned In the Past 48 Hours...

  1. Lettuce and pregnancy don't mix well
  2. Mayonnaise is REALLY good on sandwiches (and I normally can't stand it)
  3. "Morning sickness" is a misnomer
  4. "Evening sickness" exists...
  5. I can swallow a pill when absolutely desperate (vitamin B6 is supposed to help with the above-mentioned evening sickness)
  6. Grape sour balls make me happy
  7. The colder the drink, the better
  8. Old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 make me cry
  9. My doctor and her staff are wonderful

I really don't want every post from now on to be about pregnancy, but this one was very necessary...

Dec 10, 2007

Throwing Tradition Out the Window

While I like tradition when it comes to the holidays (decorating the tree, having a big family meal, etc.), I hate when tradition tries to dictate what I should and shouldn't do. So, here I am, completely throwing tradition out the window by telling everyone (or the few lost souls who read this blog) that I am pregnant.

Yes, you read that right. I am in my seventh week of pregnancy, which according to some people, is too early to say anything. But guess what? I am turning 35 years old in one month. This might be the only time I ever get to tell people this news, so I'm taking advantage of it.

The last few weeks have been up and down. Scared. Freaked out. Exhausted. Excited. Nervous. Panicked. Exhausted. Have I mentioned exhausted? It's mind-numbing exhaustion. Think Nyquil 24-hours a day. Throw in some migraines for good measure and that pretty much sums up my last few weeks.

I don't think I'm at the point yet where I'm jumping up and down. I'm still dealing with the reality of this whole situation. It will happen. Right now, Patrick and I are in what I like to call the sarcasm stage. Sarcasm and humor are good ways to deal with life-changing events.

So mark your calendars for August 3, 2008 because that's when the newest member of our family is due to arrive. I sure hope he/she gets Patrick's dimples and laid back attitude and my empathy and knack for spelling and grammar. If this child can escape being a spaz like me, I think we'll be just fine...

Dec 5, 2007

How Do I Get Through This?

The panic reached its peak last night. With thoughts swirling through my head, I ended up sobbing. I cried until my head ached. Today was better - it started out like last night, but it improved a lot. I don't want to go back to last night. I don't want to even think about how I felt and those awful thoughts I had.

I'm trying to breathe through it all. I am trying to focus on everything else - this weekend's trip to Chicago, how absolutely beautiful our living room looks from the white lights on our Christmas tree, holiday shopping, the new book I just started reading, etc. I am trying to get through these times with a lot of faith and a dash of humor.

It will get better. I know it.

Dec 3, 2007

Finally Some Good News

Patrick's mom had surgery last Wednesday and it was very successful - no mastectomy! They removed the tumor and one lymph node, although they do not think the cancer spread. She is healing well, but is very tired. She is scheduled to have radiation for 6 weeks and there is still the possibility of starting chemotherapy. That's where the confusion is - we were told 6 weeks of radiation, but heard nothing about chemo. Apparently the doctor's office called her last week and set up an appointment for her to meet with the "chemo doctor." Still need some clarification on that.

The panic that I referred to in my last post is getting better. If I think too much about it, I start myself on that downward spiral. Day by day, I tell myself. Day by day...

Nov 27, 2007

Too Much Thinking

I have so much on my mind these days. I'm trying to finish a series of three grants for work. Two of them are written, but need to be edited. I'm working on the third one now. I hope to have the draft done by noon tomorrow (my boss will review it on Thursday when she gets back to the office). They're due by 4 PM on Friday, but hoping that I could get them done early, I took Friday as a vacation day. I really hope I can get them delivered on Thursday.

We're all worried about Patrick's mom. She had a test today to determine if the cancer spread to her lymph nodes. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning. All of this brings back bad memories of my aunt and all she endured. I know that this is a different situation and I try not to get caught up in my thoughts.

I also have some other personal issues I am dealing with, and I have been tormenting myself by overthinking. I hate doing that, but I'm just so good at it. I have moments when I'm fine and life seems so normal, and then I fall into this pit of anxiety and panic. I don't know how to stop.

Nov 21, 2007

The Results

It's cancer.


At 1:15 PM today, we will find out if Patrick's mom has breast cancer. It has been a whirlwind week for her, with an ultrasound, additional mammograms, and a biopsy. The thing that makes me concerned (outside of my general level of anxiety about these results) is that the doctor asked her if she had spoken with the surgeon. He even mentioned the word mastectomy, but I don't understand why he would say that. She hasn't even received her results.

This can't happen. On a cerebral level, I know it can happen, but emotionally, I don't want to deal with the aftermath. Patrick's father is battling advanced prostate cancer, and I don't know how this family will deal with the additional bad news.

Nov 18, 2007

It's Never Too Far To Drive For Friends and Portillo's

I drove to DeKalb yesterday afternoon to meet my friend, Jason, for lunch at Portillo's. I know I've posted about Jason before, like here...and here. We've been friends ever since that long day of orientation at our new jobs. Since I've moved, I really miss my friends (Jason, Megan, and Sheryl). Everyone is so busy with family and careers, and the physical distance between us makes it even more difficult to see each other. We rely on e-mail and phone calls. So this past July, I added on an extra day of vacation when I went to see the neurologist, and I met Jason for lunch at one of our old "lunch spots." It was such a blast, that we made plans to see each other again. This time, we met in DeKalb at Portillo's - um, that would be another one of our old lunch spots (yes, we went out to lunch A LOT when we worked together!).

The conversation was fantastic (as usual), the food was great (you can't beat a true Chicago-style hotdog!), and it was nice to get out of the house and do something for myself for a change. We had lunch, talked for a long time, and then I gave him a quick tour of the NIU campus. On a whim we decided to find my thesis in the library. Actually, I said it as a joke, but Jason seemed like we was truly curious.

Time passed a bit too quickly, and it was time for me to head back home. We stopped in Portillo's once more to buy some chocolate cake and then said our goodbyes. It was cold and damp and the drive home seemed longer than the drive in. I was tired and the grey sky and light rain was only making it worse. I started thinking about how much I miss my "old life." This isn't to say that I regret marrying Patrick, because honestly, I can't imagine anyone else being a better match for me. But I do miss my family and my friends and my "history." I spent 30 years living there, and everywhere I go is a reminder from my past - the park I played at as a kid, places I went with friends in high school, the mall where I had my first job when I was 16, the bookstore where I met a boyfriend that I thought was my soulmate, and the driveway of my parents' house where he cried when he broke up with me.

This has turned into a bit of a bummer of a post, but the combination of being with Jason and being on that campus just brought to me a wave of nostalgia - combining different parts of my past all in one day.

On the bright side, Jason and I agreed that we need to try to get together every couple of months. I'm glad because I really do miss him.

Nov 14, 2007

Another Mosaic

I've been having so much fun finding these pictures - each one is something that I enjoy or something that brings back a memory or evokes an emotion. Dinkel's Bakery is where my father used to take me for the BEST chocolate doughnuts. Little Italy in Chicago is where my grandma grew up. St. Josaphat's Church takes me back to Easter Sundays at my great-grandma's house in Lincoln Park. The chandelier makes me think of how my sister and I would climb on the dining room table to take off the "diamonds" from our parents' chandelier, holding them up to our ears like giant, dangling earrings...

1. bicycle, 2. dream bedroom, 3. palm tree, 4. yield, 5. tomatoes, 6. open road, 7. dinkels bakery, 8. surf, 9. niu winter, 10. coke, 11. st josaphat, 12. mixer, 13. chandelier, 14. sock monkey, 15. little italy, 16. candles

Nov 13, 2007

I'm All About Them Words...

Here are the last words I looked up in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary/thesaurus:


It's definitely an interesting group of words. I also just realized that the title of this post marks the first time I quoted the song that helped me name my blog- "You and I Both" by Jason Mraz:

See I'm all about them words,
Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words;
Hundreds of pages, pages, pages forwards.
More words than I had ever heard, and I feel so alive.

Nov 11, 2007

What the "Stuff"?

The stuffed cookies didn't quite turn out the way I expected. They still taste quite good, but the dough was really sticky and the cookies spread out on the cookie sheet and formed one giant cookie. I was disappointed because I've always been quite the baker (ask anyone who has had my cheesecakes). I wonder what went wrong - I double checked the recipe and I did everything according to the directions.

Seriously, this might be the first time something like this has happened (aside form that time in high school when I made cookies that included molasses and they turned into these hard Frisbee-like disks).

Big Fat Cookies

I've intended to bake these insanely yummy looking chocolate chip cookies for a long time. They're not just regular chocolate chip cookies - they're stuffed cookies. Yes, that means that they are chocolate chip cookies that are stuffed with even more chocolate. I bought this book more than a month ago, but haven't had the time to make them:

As I type this, I have the butter coming to room temperature. I hope they turn out as good as they sound (and look, although I haven't been able to find a picture of them online). I'll post as soon as I eat one...

Nov 8, 2007

I Wonder...

Have any of my ex-boyfriends ever Googled me? They don't know my new last name, which is relatively opposed to my previous last name. Either way, I doubt they'd find anything interesting.

I Googled myself and found a couple of things related to my time in grad school and my last job. Utterly boring...

And yes, I've Googled the exes and have found very little. My last ex has his name all over the place because of his job (HS teacher and coach). I found my very first love - he has his own business and he and his wife also sell snakes. So glad I got out of that relationship when I did.

Boredom + The Internet = Good Times...

Nov 7, 2007

Barack-Star Obama

I normally don't post about politics, but this is a special case. Barack Obama gave a speech this morning only 2 miles from our house. Patrick and I attended and it really was an amazing opportunity to be a part of the political process (no matter who you support). I got some great pictures:

Nov 5, 2007

Ahoy Matey!

I almost forgot to post pictures of Duncan's birthday cakes. Yes, he had two cakes - one was for his b-day party with his friends and the second was the one for the family party (we celebrated this the week after his birthday so Uncle Shawn and Aunt Amanda could come in from Chicago):

Cake #1:

(Ally will be the only one to recognize that we had the party at Happy Joe's!)

Cake #2:

Some other funny pictures from Duncan's birthday include him opening his birthday gift from me and Patrick - Guitar Hero!!:

And one of my all-time favorites...Patrick living out his dream of being a rock star (OK, so his dream is really to play professional baseball, but deep down, don't we all want to be rock stars?):

Nov 4, 2007

Meet My New Boyfriend...

His name is Bear Grylls {sigh} and he's the host of Man vs. Wild. Love, love, love him. He's an adventurer - doing pretty much anything and everything. Just a few examples:

Nov 1, 2007


My parents are coming for a visit this weekend. They planned on coming up last weekend, but my mom was kind of in a funk and she said she just didn't have the energy. I can completely understand that feeling. So, they're leaving tomorrow morning and should be here in time for lunch. I'm going to sneak out of work a bit early so we can spend even more time together.

They're actually staying at our house! They haven't done that since Patrick had to go to Las Vegas for work (and seriously, who really HAS to go to Vegas for work?). With Patrick and Duncan in North Carolina this weekend, I'm really looking forward to my mom and dad visiting. We don't have any specific plans, but I think we'll end up at Lagomarcino's for a caramel apple and probably some chocolates for my dad.

I miss my parents all the time, but it's never more obvious when they back out of my driveway and head home, but I won't worry about that until Sunday.

Oct 31, 2007


I've been wanting to do this for a while, but never found the time to figure it out. I finally learned how and this is my very first mosaic - just a bunch of pictures that I like. Some of them are things I enjoy, things I want to do, places I want to see. Others are just beautiful pictures.

1. paris sign, 2. type, 3. poker, 4. hangers, 5. portillos, 6. addison, 7. fall leaves, 8. glasses, 9. strawberry, 10. apples, 11. arch, 12. yarn, 13. tulip, 14. slots, 15. french bakery, 16. books

Oct 30, 2007

Happy Halloween...CSI Style

We celebrated Halloween a day early - for some odd reason Davenport celebrates this holiday the day before, but has their Halloween parade on Halloween. Yeah, I don't get it, either. However, with the weather so nice, and Duncan so sick with bronchitis, we decided to celebrate in Davenport. We made sure we got some pics of our costumes. This year's theme was CSI (with Duncan going as the headless dead body). I have to thank Marie for the costume idea! By the way, Duncan made his costume entirely on his own:

Oct 29, 2007

What I've Been Doing the Last 5 Minutes

*Paying bills
*Waiting for our server to be connected at work so I can start my day
*Sitting in part workout clothes, part jammies in front of my laptop at home
*Wishing it had been my Cubbies that won the World Series
*Waiting for the Excedrin to kick in
*Watching the clock because I have to get food in the crockpot by 8:30 AM
*Flipping through old issues of Advancing Philanthropy
*Being shocked that I only owe $14.20 for my mammogram
*Reminding myself that I need to start keeping a "What I'm Grateful For" list (see the above item regarding the mammogram)

Oct 28, 2007


Shitty migraine all day. I'm just now feeling somewhat better.

Oct 24, 2007

My New Thing

My mom just called to tell me that my cousin is pregnant. Let me rephrase that. My cousin, the bitch, is pregnant. She always was a bitch. The last time I saw her - this past July at her brother's wedding - she was really sweet and we sat and gossiped for over an hour. So, maybe she isn't a bitch...but for the sake of this conversation we'll say she is. She is pregnant. I am not. I am a lot older than her and got married before her, so I should be pregnant first, right? It's selfish of me, but that's how I feel right now.

Anyway...everyone seems to be pregnant these days. That is, everyone but me. We're obsessed with all the pregnant women in Hollywood, so it seems that the new "thing" is to be pregnant. Well, here's my new thing - I'm not going to have any kids. I don't want to have kids. I don't like kids.

So don't ask me when I'm going to have a baby because the answer is this - I'm not. It's my new thing...

Edited to add: And please don't try to convince me otherwise.

Oct 23, 2007

I Am Part Italian, You Know...

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city soul with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?

Oct 21, 2007

The Newest Member of the Family

Pebbles - My sister's new dog...

Thank You...I'll Be Here All Week

We're having some major work done at our office - painting and installing new carpet. The furniture in my office is being moved tomorrow at 7 AM, and painting begins tomorrow afternoon. Because the carpet isn't being installed until Saturday morning, my office needs to remain empty. This means I have to work from home all week. I already work from home one day a week, but I'm not sure how I feel about doing it the whole week. It will be weird. I drove home from work on Friday with half of my office in the trunk of my car.

Right now, all of that stuff is sitting in the foyer of our house, waiting to be turned into a temporary home office later tonight.

Oct 20, 2007

A Few More Thoughts

It is very lonely, very sad, very isolating to have a migraine. There is only so much I can do...and nothing anyone else can do.

With the pain comes the sadness, the anxiety, the helplessness. I cry because I have no control over them. I wonder when the next one will come. I cry because I know that there will always be the next one.

Down For the Count

I woke up this morning with a migraine. Completely unexpected (yes, I can pretty much tell when I should be getting a bad one). I occasionally do get unexpected migraines, but they usually aren't too bad. This one was unexpected and bad.

Two Fiorcet, one Relpax, and an Excedrin later, I still have some pain. I don't expect this to go away anytime soon, but it is much more tolerable. I went upstairs at 12 PM to try to sleep. I woke up at 2 PM. I forced myself to get up and try to eat - the amount of medication I had in my system was making me nauseous. I made the most carb-filled meal I could think of (I crave starchy foods when my head aches like this). I made some pasta with butter, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Do you know what it tasted like? Heaven. It was food nirvana. And I drank a Pepsi that was so cold, my throat burned and my eyes watered.

I had some plans to get stuff done around the house today, but I have come to terms with the fact that it isn't going to happen. I will be lucky if I can get myself off the couch - not because the pain is so severe any longer, but because my muscles are tired and weak and I'm in such a fog. I happened to put on the TV and saw that on American Movie Classics, it is "Hitchcock Saturday." Perfect. I plan to stay on the couch, watching some of my favorite movies - The Birds and Dial M For Murder. My favorite is Strangers On a Train, but it doesn't look like that one is on today.

Patrick is out for the day, and I don't mind a bit. It's pointless for him to be stuck at home with me feeling so awful. I called him and told him that I couldn't cook dinner tonight. I told him everything I wanted - to get Chinese food from my favorite restaurant, to wrap myself up in a warm blanket, and to sit with him on our couch and watch Hitchcock movies all night. I'm not normally like that - whiny and teary-eyed. I feel sorry for myself right now and I feel like giving in to it.

I expect to get bad migraines toward the end of next week, so it looks like I will have to do this all over again...

Oct 18, 2007

Check It Out

Normally I just add new blogs that I love to my list on the right side of this page. However, I have to point you to this new one I found: The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Jason, my fellow grammar geek, I think you're going to get hooked on this one.

Pictures I Should Have Posted a While Ago...

Yes, I'm a dork and took a picture of the TV on this fabulous night.
Light the Night:

Boo is recovering nicely and found a new hiding spot. Don't worry, the dishes were already dirty.

The cool table from IKEA that I put together all by my little self.

Pictures from my dad's birthday party. Vann is not really licking the's all an optical illusion...

My parents' 40th wedding anniversary

Celebrating my cousin's birthday later that same day.

Oct 17, 2007

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I love the rain. Really, I do. I find that it energizes me in a weird way. It motivates me and I tend to get a lot of work done because I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Today was a different story. I've been running around like crazy preparing for Duncan's birthday (he'll be 11 years old n Friday). Baking a cake, wrapping gifts, putting together goody bags, and even making treats (homemade banana muffins) for his b-day party at school. It was cloudy all day and even rained on and off for the afternoon. All of a sudden, it started pouring. I could hear it on the roof and against the windows - even a distant rumble of thunder. Suddenly I was exhausted. My body felt like it was working in slow motion, and I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I finally succumbed and went upstairs to take a quick nap (Note: I don't do well with naps. I am notorious for getting super cranky when I wake up). As soon as I snuggled under the blankets, the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law inquiring about the birthday party. Then, my husband called and I knew that my intended nap was never going to happen. I came downstairs, groggy and trying to find my way through the dark house, and decided to finish dinner.

I still feel like I'm in that funk. I can't quite seem to shake it. I'm trying to allow myself to feel the funk, but make sure I still read, write, exercise (that's a tough one), and engage in my other everyday activities.

The only other interesting thing that happened today was getting my annual flu shot. Good times, people. My arm is sore and swollen. That happens every year. One year I got a lump in my arm the size of an egg. It's not like that this time, but it does hurt to lift my arm. I used to think it was psychosomatic, but it actually hurts to touch or move my arm.

I lead an exciting life...

Oct 16, 2007

Hemming and Hawing

I subscribe to a free service that tells me how many people have viewed my blog, where they're from, and how they found my site. Lately, I've been getting lots of hits from people all over the country. What is the number one Google search that got them to my blog? How to hem your pants!

A very long time ago I wrote a post about how I finally learned how to hem my pants. Apparently, hemming your pants is all the rage because people are Googling that like crazy! I went back and checked that post. The funniest part about it is my Dad's comment - I just love that man!

Of course this reminds me that I do need to hem a pair of awesome pants I just got at Old Navy...

Oct 15, 2007

We Finally Decided On Our Halloween Costumes...

Patrick and I will be crime scene investigators, and Duncan will be a "dead body." He's definitely an 11-year old boy...

Oct 13, 2007

Bring In 'Da Funk

'Da funk is here. I wasn't sure if it was just my stressful week at work or the change in weather, but I can feel my feet firmly planted in the funk - tired, lethargic, no desire to do anything but sit in comfy clothes and plant myself on the couch. We managed to go to dinner last night, but the large group sitting behind me was loud and annoying, and for the first time in a long time I felt just a hint of anxiety. I fought it off, ate what I could, and was thrilled when we finally left. Even our regular trip to Border's wasn't as much fun as it usually is. Patrick and I start at the bargain section and then go our separate ways in the store, meeting up later in the evening to look through the books we've picked up along the way. I browsed the literature section and then the cookbooks, but my heart just wasn't completely in it (although we are going back tonight to use our 20% off coupon for a book called "Big Fat Cookies"). I sat on the leather couch fighting off sleep while Patrick browsed the history section. Then it was home - on the couch in my jammies watching some baseball.

Patrick wants to go to Galena today. I said I didn't want to, but am wondering if I should make the effort to go. Maybe I can force myself out of this before it gets too bad. It's not a long drive, and maybe the cool, fall air will do me some good.

Oct 12, 2007


You know you're exhausted when you wake up in the morning (much later than you should be getting up), sit up and think, "I can't wait to go to bed tonight."

I haven't been getting enough sleep. I'm also slipping into a bit of a funk. Is it the weather? Is it just that time of year?

Whatever it is...I cannot wait to go to bed tonight.

Oct 11, 2007


I had a completely bizarre dream last night. I had just found out I was pregnant, but never really experienced the pregnancy because the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital having a C-section. I remember being in the hospital afterward and realizing that I never got to see the baby. Patrick took me to see her (yes, it was a girl), but when we got to the crib, I looked in and was shocked. I said, "That's not a baby!". Instead I saw a girl that was closer to 3-years old. Not only that, but half of her face and her entire back was covered in black hair (the "werewolf syndrome"). Patrick then turns to me and smiles, telling me that it was just a joke and that she wasn't our baby. We move on to another crib, but this time when I looked in all I saw was a huge head attached to a tiny baby's body. Patrick laughed again and said he was still kidding. Finally, he lifts up his arms and holds up a perfect baby girl wrapped in a blanket. This was our baby. It was then that I realized that we never gave her a name because I never actually went through the pregnancy, and subsequently never bought any baby name books. Suddenly we were surrounded by books, frantically searching for a name, but I kept calling her Charlotte (even though Patrick doesn't like that name).

Then I woke up.

So weird. I definitely want to investigate this one a bit more...

Oct 5, 2007

Life List

I saw this post today and it seriously energized me. I have been swamped at work, overcome by nasty migraines, and overwhelmed by a general sense of fatigue and boredom. The other day I posted about how I've been letting my life slip away from me, and ever since then, I've felt this need to be more proactive in life. Honestly, I haven't done anything about it, but I can feel it bubbling beneath my surface.

Then I found the post about life lists. What a fantastic idea! A list of 100 things we want to accomplish in our lives. It sounds a lot easier than it really is...and I have only begun the process. The tricky part is what to include - do I say I want to vacation in the South of France even though I know I don't think I could handle the long flight? It's something I desperately want to do, but I don't know if I can get on the plane. Is it more important to create an accurate life list, or to be able to cross off things on my list? Will I feel like a failure if I add France to my list and never go? I think I'll add France and see what happens...

I'm going to finish my list by next week and then I'm going to post it here. I challenge other people to do the same.

Oct 4, 2007

God Doesn't Care If You Hit A Homerun

This is what I shouted at the TV last night after one of the Diamondbacks hit a homerun off the Cubs and then pointed to the sky as he crossed home plate. Granted, he very well could have been dedicating that homerun to a deceased member of his family. OK, I'll let him get away with that, but it really made me think. And if you're wondering, yes, I will be able to pull together a post about baseball and God - I'm good like that.

Do I start at the beginning or at the end? Hmm...I'll start at the end and work my way back.

When it comes to religion, I don't know what I believe any more. There is someone I "know" through the world of blogs who is battling Stage IV cancer. I'm not going into specifics because it is that family's personal battle and I have no right to identify them. I've been reading their blog for a while now and I like to check in on their progress. They are very spiritual people (yes, they are Catholics), and I am always amazed and impressed by the positive attitude they maintain throughout this process. They are parents (about my age), with very young children.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with this post. I know what I want to say, but I am having trouble getting there.

They frequently ask people to pray for them - for healing and a miracle. This is where I begin to question my faith. I was raised Catholic. I was taught that when people are sick, you pray for them. You pray for their healing and you believe in miracles. As a kid, this seemed OK because I never knew any sick people, so I never needed to question the validity of this. When my aunt got sick, we prayed. I prayed throughout the entire 8 months of her illness. It is the transformation of my prayers that interest me. I started by praying that the doctors were wrong about the cancer (they weren't), and then I prayed that the cancer wasn't as bad as they originally thought (it was). With the medical results to back that up, I started praying that my aunt would handle the treatments and would get better. She did get better...quickly. It was definitely a tough road for her, with the surgery, physical therapy, chemo, and radiation, but she did it. By the end of January, she was "cured" (don't get me started on the use of this word by her doctor).

Within a month things got bad again, and we started praying again. I had done the research and knew the grim prognosis - cancer within the central nervous system is not only incurable, it spreads quickly and most patients succumb withing a few months. I didn't tell my family, but I know my mom knew what was happening. We sat on the phone one afternoon and she said to me, "I just don't know what to pray for anymore." Praying for healing was futile. There weren't going to be any miracles. She was not going to survive this. I remember my brain switching from having faith to not believing, like turning on and off a lamp.

When do you make that switch? Is it wrong to stop believing? Do some people believe in miracles despite the medical evidence and the odds? A few days later my mom said, "I stopped praying for her to get better because I know that can't happen. Now I pray for her to be comfortable and at peace with death."

I know that things are not going well with my fellow bloggers. There are calls for healing prayers. Calls for miracles. I am happy that they have such faith, but it breaks my heart to read that. I remember those desperate times when I thought that saying one more prayer would make things better. I feel guilty that I don't believe in that anymore. But I can't. In my mind, what's going to happen is going to happen. You can't pray it away.

I am not here to criticize anyone's religious beliefs. Sometimes it makes me angry to hear people say that if enough people pray, and they pray hard enough, someone can be healed. Did my family not care enough? Did we not pray hard enough? I know that's not true - we did all we could when it came to prayers and the doctors did all they could when it came to treatments.

It's just too much pressure to think that you can control the outcome of someone's life by saying or not saying enough prayers. It's too heavy of a burden. I felt it. We all felt it.

I know there's a point somewhere in there...

Thank Goodness There Are Five Games!

The Cubs lost last night. Disappointing? Yes. Shocking? Not really. Just about everything I read or heard about the game was that the Cubs would lose the first game to the Diamondbacks' ace pitcher - Webb. He pitched a great did Zambrano. It really was exciting to watch such a pitching duel. I only wish we had come out on top.

There is another game tonight, though, and with Lilly pitching, I think we can do it. Our pitching staff is much deeper than the Diamondbacks (basically, they're relying on Webb), and if our offense gets hot...look out.

On a side note, Patrick told me last night that he doesn't think our marriage can survive this postseason. I guess it's because I'm superstitious, neurotic, and a bit dramatic. I also cuss like a sailor and can trash-talk like nobody's business. Deep down he loves it...

Oct 1, 2007

More Secrets

This really jumped out at me today. Not sure why. OK, I do know why...

I need more courage to do the things I've always dreamed of doing.

Sep 29, 2007


I woke up with a migraine. A bad migraine. It knocked me on my ass - big time. It's beautiful outside and Patrick and I are supposed to (finally) celebrate our wedding anniversary. Right now I'm in a fog. I feel like a zombie. I want to enjoy this day - get outside, take a walk, smell the fresh air. It's almost 2 PM and I just got out of bed. My feet are dragging on the floor when I walk. I don't recognize the face I see in the mirror - disheveled hair, remnants of mascara smudged beneath my eyes.

Another day that I've lost.

Sep 26, 2007

Musical Memories

I received a nice bonus from work a few weeks ago – but remember that “nice” in the non-profit world is different from “nice” in the corporate world. I am still grateful as this was unexpected. I went ahead and purchased an MP3 player, something I’ve wanted for a while, but felt selfish buying when we’re still reeling from the two-and-a-half years of having two mortgages. However, my father always told me that if I received a merit bonus from work, I should buy myself something since I worked so hard for that extra money. I bought my player last week and have been having fun downloading songs. As I was listening to some of my favorites – some I haven’t listened to in a long time - I realized how closely some songs are linked to memory. There are some songs out there that I just like listening to, and then there are those that can bring me back many years to a time and place I will never forget. They bring me back to my childhood, to old boyfriends, to sad and lonely times in my life, to bittersweet moments, and to so-happy-that-you-cry moments. The songs are as varied as the memories, and here are just a couple:

“Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon: 1980. Summer vacation with my family. We’re driving across the country in our 1979 Ford Econoline van – it’s not fancy, but it does have an AM/FM radio, which we listen to for most of the drive to Wyoming. My father drives while my mom switches between navigating and working on a crossword puzzle. My sister and I sit behind them singing along to the music. This is our favorite song at the time and we would sit and wait to sing the last few lines: “I’m just sittin’ here watching the wheels go round and round. I really love to watch them roll. No longer ridin’ on the merry-go-round. I just had to let it go.” We sang without having a care in the world. Our parents were in charge of everything , and we were just along for the ride.

Nightswimming” by REM: The summer of 1995. Mike and I are fresh out of college and spending one last summer together before he moves. Over the past few years, he and I had a very complex and confusing relationship. We always wanted to date each other, but something always got in the way. Physical distance. Friends. Other boyfriends and girlfriends. Our own fear. The one constant with us was that no matter how much distance or time apart, we always found ourselves back in the same comfortable place. We spent most of the summer together – late nights talking about our futures. He was moving away and I was searching for a job. We both were trying to figure out who we were and what we really wanted in life. He had a girlfriend back at college and I wanted nothing more than for him to fall in love with me. One night, sitting on my parents’ driveway, he confessed to me that he didn’t think he could move…and that I was the reason for his change of heart. “You’re being silly,” I said. "You have to go." Why did I say that? We decided to spend as much time together as possible before he moved. We spent every day together, sometimes going out again at night. One night, not long before he moved, he drove me home from St. Charles back to my parents’ house. We had a 40-minute drive ahead of us and I hoped and prayed that we would miss all the stoplights, giving me just a few more minutes with him. But at 2 AM, that wasn’t about to happen. We were both tired, and I fought to keep my eyes open, enjoying the comfort that comes along with knowing someone so well that you can sleep in front of them. The ultimate vulnerability. This song played in the background. I looked out the window, then back at him, and again out the window. I watched the scenery become more familiar as we got closer to home, wishing we could drive around together until the sun came up. I can still recall those lyrics:

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September’s coming soon.
I’m pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
this one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Sep 25, 2007