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.