Year End Letters

Dear 2008,

I guess it’s finally time for us to say our goodbye’s. I wish I could say that I was sorry to see you go, but in all honesty 2008, you were a rough year. I had high hopes for you, and while we did have a few really good times, as a whole you really let me down.

Thank you though for bringing us Andy and Luzma’s wedding. That was definitely a highlight. It’s not every wedding you get to have your picture taken with Elvis and eat as many cupcakes as you want. Las Vegas was great so we’ll always have that 2008!

Thanks also for the girls get away in Cabo. It was super nice of you to have my flight miles fall in your year so I could tag along with the gals to Chrissy’s time share.

2008, you also gave me Gretta the Jetta, so when ever I take her in for service I will always think of you because they will always ask me what year she is. In that respect you will live on in my life for years to come.

Other than all that though, I’m ready to see you go. Maybe you can take your sucky economy and stupid gas prices to some other place? Maybe you can give us back some jobs and real estate value while you’re at it. Let’s face it 2008, you failed to provide a good year for loads of people and I don’t think I’m alone when I say, good riddance!

A former even numbered year lover

Dear 2009,

Welcome! It’s so nice to have you here!

I’d like to start things off right with you and make sure we’re all on the same page. I don’t really expect much from you; truly, I would love it if you were just a normal, mellow year. I think we can all use a little less scandal and madness this year.

I sent a letter to 2008 asking it to return some things it took, hoping it would make your job easier. I don’t know if it will respond. Between you and me, 2008 was kind of a bitch so I doubt it will be much help to you.

2009, I think we’re all looking forward to what you will bring us. I hope you have something totally awesome planned. I would be forever grateful if you could turn some things around. I think you’ll have some help from high up places. Mr. Obama has some plans for you, as do millions of people in the world. Together I think you can all make a difference. The deck is in your hands 2009. I have faith in you!

Many blessings, well wishes, prayers, crossed fingers, lit candles, and happy hopes to you!

Willing to give odd number years a try!

Happy New Year

2008 will be officially over tonight. Can't say that I'm going to miss it, but I'm still nervous about what 2009 will bring.

As hard as some of 2008 has been I'm going to remind myself to count my blessings. No pity parties today. All things considered we're still very lucky people.

If wishes were horses...

then beggars would ride.

If only wishes were that powerful.

It seems I spend many hours and days wishing for things. I wish for the traffic light to turn green. I wish for my hot water heater to be full and hot. I wish for a slow day at work. I wish for my gas to last in the car. I wish for a baby.

So many times wishes are just little things, silly things to get you though the day. I make superfluous wishes all the time. It's so easy to be so needy. So easy to want.

If only wishes really worked.

If they worked there would be no war, no illness, no hunger. Children would have safe warm homes. Animals would be well cared for loved. People who want babies would have them. People with cancer would get better. People who can't make the mortgage would
We had a wonderful Christmas and made it to every function in one piece even though the roads are still incredibly slick and slippery. The city of Portland will not be sanding, plowing, or making any attempt to clear the side roads so as soon as you enter a neighborhood you are taking the risk of hitting parked cars, curbs, snowmen, or idiots who think shoveling or walking in the middle of the street while a sliding car is coming towards them is a good idea. I understand that our city is ill-equipt to deal with this weather but my frustration level is rising as the days go by. I'm so tense when I'm in a car that I am sure I'm going to develop ulcers if this goes on much longer. I am praying the rain from today and forecasted for tomorrow will make a big dent in the left over snow. If not I'm going to have to purchase a few bags of rock salt and salt my street and the street to the vineyard. At this point they are still scary and I need to drive on them. Gretta the Jetta is still sitting in the driveway and I'm not taking her anywhere until it's completely safe. I think Scott is tried of driving and sharing the Blazer with me. Even worse than that is his contempt for my jittery passenger act. I can't help it, but I grab for the "oh shit" handle for the slightest thing and that makes him nervous and then he gets mad at me. Seriously, snow must go or he may divorce me!

We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today. I am not a fan of Brad Pitt and his baby collecting wife/girlfriend/partner, but the movie was great. I find that the older I get the more I appreciate movies and books that are beautiful. Beautiful in the non-conventional ways. Sure Mr. Pitt is extremely attractive so watching him in a movie isn't hard, but this move was beautiful is special ways. It was magical and sweet, nostalgic and kind. There were lessons to be learned but not preached. I cried like a baby though most of it. Scott and Charity laughed at me later, but I don't mind. Movies that make me feel make me happy. Even if that feeling was sadness at times. Things that truly touch you are special.

We've received news of a few more pregnancies in the last two weeks. I swear there must be something in the water. Now if only I knew where to get the water!! I'm working on my happy face so that when news is given to me in person I can respond appropriately. I'm trying really hard not to be bitter. I should be thankful that Scott and I are healthy.

In some sad news, Scott's business partner and long time friend has had a relapse with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We thought he'd beat the beast but it appears to be back and he has already started treatments. We aren't nearly as close with Greg and Shanna as we used to be, but they are forever a part of our lives and despite the different directions our lives have taken I will always consider them like family. We've known them so long, been through so much and the boys really grew to be men together, having been friends for so many years. I hope that his treatments are fast and furious this round. Cancer is such a bitch. Nothing pretty or nice about it. If only you could do something to make it feel better. If only there was something you could say to take it away. I find myself not able to find the right words when I do talk to Greg. I speak with him so little I feel like I should be able to come up with something that fits right, and yet, I am pretty sure there is nothing I can say or do that will be of any help. I can't imagine what they are going though now. Things like this make me question the existence of God. I don't give up all hope, because I've seen enough and know enough to understand that some higher power guides this world, I'd just like to know why he sees fit to "give" Greg this disease. Boggles my mind and probably means that I need more reflection on the topic. I will pray for Greg and I'd like to ask that anyone who reads this does the same. Doesn't matter who your God is. Good thoughts and vibes translate into good things, of that I am sure.

That's all for now, time to relax and enjoy the evening on the couch.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I wish I could have share it with each and every one of you.

Arctic Blast Day 5,634...well it feels like it anyway!

Day three of being snow's gonna get really boring if I only talk about snow so I thought I'd post a few oooh's and ahhh's. Just pretty stuff and things I covet. It is Christmastime after all so I can have little pretty wish lists in my head....and on my blog! After all my blogs address is a piece of "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things".

One of my favorite things to look at when I'm online is the blog Cake Wrecks. It's a daily blog of what happens when profesionaly decorated cakes go terribly wrong. Seriously some of the best laughs I've had are on this blog. On the weekends though she posts a blog with pretty cakes and today I found some adorable cupcakes by clicking through some of her links. Check out these cupcakes from Small Things Iced

Aren't they precious?!?! I wish I was this talented! They are too pretty to eat and yet I'm now craving a sugary cupcake!

Did I mention that also have a soft spot for penguin's?

Okay, it's snowing again....just saw on the news that it could be 2-7 more inches tonight?!?! How on earth did this happen? I got stuff I've got to do. I need to go to work again at some point!

It's still snowing....

We are trapped inside as the snow continues. The news keeps saying this is like 2004, but I don't remember it ever being quite this much snow. There is a TON of snow out there. I just tried to go out and take a few pictures and I sunk into the inches that have accumulated on our sidewalk. I'd say we're close to five or six inches now. We took a walk earlier in the day and it was beyond frigid, but we needed out! one trip around the block was enough for us though.

Scott now has my cold so he's taking a nap and I'm trying to find ways to occupy myself. I can sense that cabin fever will set in by tomorrow. Unfortunately tomorrow will bring us more snow or freezing rain. If it doesn't warm up the drive to work on Monday may not be possible. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The good news is I'm warm, comfy in my fleece p.j. pants and my little fluffy dog is contently sleeping beside me. I do wish I'd left some packages unwrapped so I had a little more to do today, so I'll just sit and stare at them under the tree....okay, that was five seconds what??

Oh! Did I mention that my kitchen remodel is done? I have a dishwasher now. It's the most wonderful thing ever!

Well, nothing much else to add so here are some pictures for you...

Doesn't this just scream CHRISTMAS TIME!

Yahtzee! It's what people do for fun on snow days!

Soft, white, calm and quiet...

The winter weather continues in Portland. Of course not a big deal for those of you in the mid-west as snow and ice are the status quo for you. Here in our little (big) city we don't have a lot of use for snow plows and gravel trucks so when this happens we get paralyzed pretty quickly. This morning isn't so bad, but I have the day off so I'm not as worried as those who are driving to work might be.

Scott and I just had the perfect morning! I got up early so I could call into work and see what the plan was for closure. Even though I'm technically off I am still the communication hub so I make the calls when we are closed or late due to weather. Since we were already up Scott made coffee and we sat together in bed with the dog, drinking coffee (Me and Scott, not the dog), and watched the news with the curtains open so we could see the pretty snow on the ground in front of our house. We never get to have such a calm morning together and I loved it! The snow makes it that much more special. It's just so pretty.

Yesterday when I was at work it started to snow these HUGE fluffy flakes so I took the screen off my window, cranked it open and stuck my head out. My office is almost a full three stories off the ground so I was level with some of the trees and it was stunningly beautiful. It was so quiet, that special insulated quiet you get when snow falls. I don't know why it happens, but the stillness snow brings is special. The world slows down to the pace of those falling flakes. I wish I could have captured it with my camera but I think it's something you have to feel, not just see.

The weather forcasters are all calling for a big storm to hit us tomorrow night. Up to 6" of snow are expected, followed by freezing rain and ice. I've got my store of candles ready should the power go out and I plan to take pictures too. I know a lot of people hate this weather and it's stressed some of those who haven't quite finished all their holiday shopping. I'm not exactly done myself but I'm not going to worry about it. This weather makes me slow down and I need that sometimes. I am actually looking really forward to being trapped in my house with my little family and a room full of glowing candles.

Tonight we're having our close friends over for a spaghetti dinner. I'm going to pop our fireplace dvd in the player and turn on the Christmas music and we're just going to enjoy each others company. I think that's what we're really supposed to be doing this season right? Enjoying the gifts and blessings of friendship and family? I think it's going to be wonderful, just a simple dinner and a good glass of wine.

Okay, now that I've rambled are some shots of Gretta the Jetta in the snow. She just looked so pretty blanketed in white I just had to capture it! She hasn't been out for a drive in days...I'm super nervous to take her out while it's so slick!

Winter Wonderland

Arctic Blast 2008 (as the news is calling it) has officially hit PDX! It's been a LONG time since we've had any significant snow fall in our area so this is a treat. We live so close to the river that even when it snows other places in Portland we often times don't see any. Not this time baby! We've got SNOW!

Of course I didn't grow up with any snow so I'm like a little kid when this happens. I want to play in it, watch it, eat it. Unfortunately the temperature is dropping rapidly and it's freaking cold out there! Even in my three layers of t-shirts and puffy down coat. Somehow 24° is way colder than 32°! My stuffy nose and sore throat aren't helping either.

I did brave the cold to take a few pictures! I have no idea how I'll make it to work tomorrow. Many of the freeways are closed right now and traction devices are required in the Portland Metro Area. The weather people are saying this cold could stay with us for days.

Little house all covered in snow

Almost 1 1/2 "! And it's still coming down!

View of the street

It's fun to write in snow!

Some poor persons car, guess they must have hit a curb. Just glad they didn't hit my car!

Letters For Christmas and the New Year - Part One

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for all you have provided this year. I think you’re great. I probably don’t tell you that enough, but you know, because you know everything. I think we’re pretty blessed and I appreciate that. I hope you can help to bless other families and keep them safe, dry, warm and fed like you’ve done for us. Aaron C. and I sing that “Jesus Was Way Cool” song by King Missile sometimes, I hope you like that. I know you're working on the whole world peace thing too and I'm support that 100%!

A lapsed, liberal Baptist

Dear Santa

I know some people say you aren’t real but I’m choosing to believe in you this year. People need things Santa and you are just the guy to provide them. For instance, I could really use a hand mixer. It would make baking cakes so much easier. Nathan and I had to put a beater in the cordless drill last week to make his birthday cake. He thought that was spectacular, I think a better mixed batter makes a better cake. But other than my hand mixer needs, Santa, lots of little kids aren’t going to get much this year. Can you make sure they get to see a little something special under the tree? I’ll even use the cordless drill for another year if it helps. You make Christmas magic for them and I remember how awesome it was to find something from you under the tree…even if you did make my mom write out your gift tags for you.

A Believer

p.s. I bought these adorable Strawberry Shortcake Dolls at Ross for $4.99 each! I’m going to give them to Toys for Tots. Just though you could use the tip on a good deal. Turns out Ross has a great toy section!

p.p.s. Nathan still believes in you too and he would really like another Diet Coke in his stocking. I think that’s what sealed the deal last year; I mean who else would know that he loves Diet Coke so much? He also told me that he wants a puppy. His mom doesn’t, but I think Christmas is about the kids right?

Dear President Elect Obama

I want to wish you the best of luck as you head to your new job in Washington D.C. There are tons of haters out there who want to see you fail but I think you’ll do okay. In fact, Mr. Obama you have to do okay. We need you now more than ever. I think you can show us that Illinois politicians aren’t all bad. Dude, it’s you and Abe Lincoln now! Abe was a great man, it’s going to be hard to live up to his accomplishments, but when you’re starting as low as we are at the moment, you can only move up right? Right. So we’re moving on up! To the east side! We finally got a piece of the pie!

I hope the press leaves your daughters alone. They should be allowed to have as normal a childhood as possible.

I hope you find a way to stimulate the economy.

Thank you for including Hillary in your cabinet. I think she will do you proud.

I hope you invite me over for a rousing game of bowling. I’m quite good for an amateur and I think we’d have a great time. I’ll bring a bottle of Oregon Pinot for us to share. Maybe the kitchen can pop some popcorn for us.

One last thing, could you please see about making infertility treatments government mandated? Some states already have these mandates but I think I speak for all wanna be mammas out there when I say that it would be super awesome if insurance companies were required to help us when we hit the fertility wall. Illinois and Hawaii have good programs that could use a little tweaking, but they are a good jumping off point.

A Hillary Supporter Who is Willing to Hope

Dear Oregon Food Bank,

I’m working on some things for you. Boxes of food coming your way!

I’m so glad Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates just donated a crap load of money to you yesterday. It made me like them even more. I can’t wait to see the piles of food in the warehouse!

Thank you for filling up empty tummies and cupboards. I know the people in line for food boxes appreciate it.

Thank you for letting me volunteer with you this year. It was the best volunteer opportunity I’ve ever had and I stepped away feeling as though I really did make an impact. Your program is the bee’s knees.

A well fed, humble servant.

Two weeks! Fourteen Days!

Did I mention before that I love Christmas? Not sure if I did.... ;) Two weeks left. All those procrastinating on shopping should really get out there, for two reasons. 1) Your loved ones will be appreciative that you took the time to get them something thoughtful rather then that box of chocolates on sale at Safeway on Christmas eve, 2) If everyone went out and spent a few extra dollars we could jump start the economy and make everyone feel a little better for Christmas.

Okay, obviously my plan to stimulate the economy could use a little work but you can't blame me for trying right? Seriously, go spend an extra $20 this weekend. Tell everyone you know to do the same. Tell them to tell everyone they know. Maybe it will work if everyone did it? Can't part with $20, try $10. In the end if it doesn't work someone gets an extra present and you're only out $20 bucks. I'll do it if you do it! If you need ideas, I could really use a few new books. I have a wish list on in case you need ideas :) Hee hee...

Aside from all the Christmas prep I've been doing it's been a rather uneventful few days for me. Unfortunately for Charity it's been a bit rough. On Tuesday night her husband Bruce took their two dogs for a walk and one, sweet little Chihuahua Tox was attacked by a Bull Mastiff, 90 lb dog vs. 12 lb dog. In the end Toxie was pretty beat up but he's on the road to recovery. Poor little guy. You can see from the picture how bad it was. But I will say this, if any dog can work the "puppy dog eye" angle it's Tox. Somehow I think he'll be getting lots more petting and loving, from me especialy. The other dog was of course fine and I'm totally angry on Charity's behalf that it happened. Charity is being far more gracious then I could be. I'm just so thankful that the dog didn't turn on Bruce and their other dog Louie too. Very scary!

Poor little Toxie all snuggled in
Last night I had a call from my best friend that her dog, while on a walk, had been attacked by an off leash Bull Mastiff. My friend's dog is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix so he's quite small. The poor little guy was picked up by the scruff of his neck and tossed around. He has some pretty severe injuries but he's going to be okay. My friend's husband was pretty traumatized by the whole thing. He had to fight the other dog off and they are huge dogs. So very scary!

The good, the bad, the ugly and treadmills

The Good - Christmas is just around the corner! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year. I get to decorate things, buy sparkly things, and wrap the prettiest presents in the world. I get to pick out gifts that are just perfect for people and fight my urge to give them away early. I get to sing songs and watch silly movies. Ideally in my world Christmas would happen every three months. Right this very moment I am sitting on my couch with my dog, gazing at my beautiful, lit up tree. There are even a few presents under it. It makes me smile just to look at it! I'm even gonna take a picture of it to share with you! The only thing that could make this evening better is my very own bag of Cadburry Mini Eggs!

My pretty little tree glowing in the corner.

Scott and me in our awesome Christmas sweaters. I know you're jealous right?

I think the fur collar really makes mine.

The Bad - I haven't been able to move forward with the OHSU Fertility Clinic because my stupid body refuses to cooperate. I will have to call them this week and ask them how we should proceed seeing as I can't take a day three blood test if day three never comes. Seriously, this always happens. Anytime we decide to think about taking actual, real steps towards treatments my system shuts down completely. I'm going to blame it on stress this time. I'm not really that stressed (unless you ask me about the economy and Scott getting work) but I don't have any other excuse and right now I need a scape goat. It's way easier to blame the issues on something that could potentially change. And yes, in case you were wondering I do see the world though rose colored Tomorrow is any one's guess. Regardless we are at a standstill until I make a phone call. I just need to do it. I don't understand my own hesitation. It's times like this I have to remind myself that if something is going to happen I have to make it happen. Just push though the nervousness, prepare for disappointment or change and get it over with.

In the last few weeks we've found out about four other couples who are now soon to be parents. I'm trying really hard to keep my emotions in check. I know it's not their fault I'm not in the same place they are, and I am genuinely happy for them. I know they will all make wonderful parents, I just wish I could take the journey with them. I've promised myself I won't be an emotional wreck in their presence. They deserve excited people around them, they deserve well wishes and congratulations and I hope someday they'll get to return the excitement for me. But god if it isn't hard to keep that smiling face going. And that's where the ugly comes in to play. I think it's ugly that I'm such a bitch when I first hear about people who are expecting. Something I hate about myself. Something I don't know that will ever change. I hate being ugly and yet I can't help it, or I should say that I haven't made any attempt to help it. Yikes, writing that out makes me feel icky. That should be reason enough to change the way I react...something to think about.

Treadmills - I need to get my ass on one. That's all really. I don't hate them, in fact I rather like them. But I haven't been on one in far too long. Next Monday I will make my way to one and I will walk on it for a while. I say Monday because I want this one last week of food debauchery before I head off into Healthy Land. Debauchery includes peanut sauce, oreo cookies, and hot cocoa. Not all together mind you.

Okay, off to snuggle with Olivia who is snoring worse than a drunk old man with a deviated septum!

A book worth reading/I was a dweeb in middle school/And the psychic says!

I couldn't decide on one blog title so I went with all three...

1) A book worth reading - The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. Perhaps it's the nostalgia surrounding a home town, perhaps it the mystery of a family secret, perhaps it's the monster that washes up in the lake...perhaps it's the whole package...I LOVE this book. I'm not done with it, I don't want to be done with it. It's one of those books I'd like to go on forever and ever. It's so good it make me want to write and tell a story and it's been a while since I tried that. Check it out. I'd say it could fall under the theme of Chick Lit, but it has a broader appeal than that.

2) A friend of mine started a group on Facebook for our graduating class from middle school which prompted me to drag out my Rolling Hills Middle School gym bag (yes I still have it) which was filled with my diaries, notes between friends and a year book. In reading the diaries and some of the notes I have come to the conclusion that I was a total dweeb. I was also boy crazy, hormonal, downright silly and sometimes even a little profound. It's been quite the entertaining escapade. Just reading some of the things out loud makes me cringe for little eleven year old self. I'm quite certain I must have made a fool of myself on many occasions. I take a little solace knowing we were all a little off our rocker and still learning social graces. I tell you what though, the diary of a preteen/teen girl is a strange detail descriptions of my love for various members of New Kids on the Block and the celebration of their birthdays, my total infatuation with boys in my class and my dramatic confessions of love. Wowza!

3) I did go see the psychic last weekend. I try not to take it too seriously, it's meant to be in fun and hopefully she can tell me things that will come true. This is the first time I've ever been to see a real psychic that didn't involve a party of some sort. I will say that she was very adamant about somethings and knew things I hadn't told her. Things that you don't just guess about someone. I don't want to say too much here about it, because some it was pretty private stuff, but I will say that she has given me some hope on a few things, though it's cautious hope. I know I can't put all my faith in something a psychic says. But it was a little freaky that she knew I was too sensitive and take on too much, that I feel like I need more art or a better creative outlet in my life, and that my father was an alcoholic. All of this without being prompted me at all. Time will only tell if she's called anything right. I am crossing my fingers :)
Today is the perfect day to remind myself what I am thankful for....

1) Scott and I are healthy.

2) My friends and family are close to us and we are able to spend a lot of time with them.

3) I live in a little house that keeps me warm on cold nights and allows me to try being a gardener on warm summer days.

4) I have a dog that loves to sit on my lap, my arm, my tummy, my leg, anywhere that is warm. She loves to snuggle with me and sometimes nothing feels better than that.

5) I have a good job in trying times.

6) I've been able to travel to many places and see many people.

7) I have a core group of friends who would do just about anything for me and me for them.

8) I will have a full tummy after our dinner tonight and every night.

9) I still find great joy in good books

Completely Frustrated and I'm In Love With a Vampire

I spent most of my lunch break today trying to get a hold of anyone at Kaiser who could help me schedule some lab work. I had to call four times and even after the fourth call I am not one step closer to having my labs ordered.

These labs are all for OHSU so we can proceed with the fertility consult and some are timely, read must be done on specific days. These specific days should be coming up next week so I wanted to be prepared. I know how Kaiser works and I know that I have to have the labs ordered by a doctor, I can't just show up for them. Unfortunately getting in touch with a doctor or even the OBGYN advice nurse is like picking up jello with a toothpick! I tried to set it all up last week too and was left on hold for 40 minutes and no one ever picked up! Today I was on the phone for a total of 40 minuets and never once got through to who I needed. Once the phone system even hung up on me.

Typically I am ready for the battle with Kaiser. I've been in their system long enough to know that appointments and the like take time to set up. Today I didn't have the patience. Partly because I made absoultely no progress. I couldn't even leave a message for someone.

Making it all the more frustrating is that I pay these people to treat me like this. For hundreds of dollars a month I pay them to ignore me, hang up on me, and be generally difficult to work with. All I want are some stinking blood tests that I will be paying for as we haven't met our deductible yet!


I am going to call OHSU and explain the situation. I am failry certain I can do the tests through them and I know they will at least return my call.

It's pathetic that my health care, which I pay for, can be so incredibly pathetic.

On a happy note, I saw Twilight this weekend. While not the best movie I've ever seen, and some of the worst acting I've ever witnessed, I still found myself with an ear to ear grin at times. Something about teenage vampire angsty love makes me a bit giddy. Edward was beautiful and more enjoyable than I though he would be. Oh who and I kidding, I was totally silly sappy loe struck by him! They did do an excellent job of showcasing the Pacific Northwest, Oregon in particular. I was able to recognize quite a few shooting locations and the color was identical to what we see here. If you've never been here, watch the movie and notice the green and gray. It is stunning, and quite true to what we see here for a large portion of our year. The shots in the Columbia River Gorge were absolutely beautiful!

***Edited Note****

OHSU just called with my Progesterone test results. They are consistent with anovulation, meaning I did not ovulate this cycle. I already knew this in my head but it sucks to hear it. It's just one more hurdle. Blech.

At least I'm somewhat youthful..

We went to our appointment yesterday and I feel pretty good about it, so far. The staff was extremely kind and personable, not something you always encounter at a doctors office. Even the front desk people were nice in that "grumpy wise cracking I've been doing this job for way too long" way. The new OHSU building is beautiful and we could almost see our house from the doctors office. The lobby has a great view of the river and downtown.

Our doctor asked if he could do an ultrasound, which I've never had so I was a little nervous, only because it's so weird to see yourself - internally - up on a screen. He looked at me, told me I have a nice uterus, hey I'll take any compliment I can get! He also said I had youthful ovaries and pointed at all these little bubble things that are apparently eggs. There were lots and lots of them. So I guess you could say I had my first glance at my possible future children. I was happy to hear that some part of my body was considered youthful!

He did tell us that what's wrong with us is considered the trifecta of fertility issues, tubal issues, ovulation issues, and possible male factor issues. I told him we've always been over achievers. I have a few more tests to take and then we'll have another consult via phone to decide how to proceed. They will decide if there is perhaps a surgery to correct scaring in my tubes (if that's even an issue) or if IVF should be our first step. They are fiscally aware and want to be conservative with our money which I really appreciate. We should know more in a week or two if my body cooperates which isn't always the case.

Scott was a great sport and even asked questions and followed along on diagrams. I'm so glad he went with me. They even let him sit in on the ultrasound.

I wouldn't say that they were extremely optimistic, but they weren't negative either. It was a matter of fact meeting and very informational. But I do feel really good about the facility and the staff. I can imagine that the staff, who you end up working with a lot, plays into attitude and in turn success. I'm going to attempt to maintain this positive feeling despite the rational side of my brain that constantly tells me not to get my hopes up.

I think that getting ready for the holidays will be a good distraction for me. I can make some gifts, get my cards done, decorate my little house, put up my village and snuggle into the couch with a good book. I can't control anything else at the moment.

So that's my update for now. Thanks to everyone who asked about it. While I know that many people are super private about things like this, I find that blogging about it makes me feel better, plus I'm Little Miss Chatterbox, it's nearly impossible for me not to share things. :)

thursday is a big day

Thursday we go to OHSU for our first infertility consult. On the one hand I am totally excited, on the other I am extremely nervous and anxious. I think I will need tums, valium and wine on Thursday just to feel normal. Suppose I shouldn't go into a appointment in an altered state though huh? Lord knows I won't get much work done.

I read blogs out there in cyber space. Blogs that belong to other women like me. Many of them end with little bundles of joy, many don't. Those women are sad and alone, and have run out of funds and sometimes the emotional fortitude to continue. I'm very afraid that I will be one of those people. I don't want to be one of those people and I don't want to assume that I will be, but my head thinks it's easier to take the let down if I never let myself believe in what could be. I don't think it's any secret that I'm emotional, hell I can't even watch an episode of ER without needing Kleenex. I worry that being so emotional is going to take it's toll on me. I worry that they might tell me that we can't be helped. I worry that we'll invest everything into this process and still come up empty handed. Maybe I should stop reading those blogs. Often times I just end up in tears after reading one. But while they may have some sad endings, they also provide proof for me that I'm not crazy and that the feelings and reactions I have are actually normal. You see just a few weeks ago I'd become convinced that I was losing my mind and that I was a horrible person. Reading these other blogs reminded me that I'm not either of those things, I'm just unlucky for now and sometimes that doesn't bring out the best in a person.

I debated about canceling this appointment. With the market in it's current downward spiral Scott's work has very nearly run out so we're in super saver mode. Spending money on an appointment that could probably wait seems like a bad idea. I had actually made the decision to cancel today. I was ready to call them, number typed into my phone. But then I just decided I'm not ready to give up on this just yet. We may have to wait to actually take action, but if we go to this appointment on Thursday we can at least know how and where to start when the time is right. Plus we have a benefactor who's helping us get this started. That help made it possible for me to put aside my rational brain for a moment and just go with the dream of maybe someday having a baby. Sometimes I hate being so stable and rational. It kind of hinders dreaming and hoping.

I will say that this ordeal (though really just beginning) has made opened up some new levels of communication for me and Scott. That's a good thing, you really can't go wrong if your communicating more openly with your spouse. He may think I'm crazy sometimes, but he's along for the ride.

I don't know what's in store for us on Thursday. I'm going to try and trust in my belief that I was meant to be a mommy. I'm going to hope that The Big Guy sees that too. Wish us luck!
Boston, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, Areosmith, Whitney Houston, Everclear, The Cure, Save Ferris, Boys II Men, Presidents of the United Sates of America, James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Keith Urban, Jason Mraz, New Kids on the Block, KT Tunstall, Britney Spears...

I'm documenting the concerts I can remember going to. I know I'm forgetting some, and some of the ones I've listed I've seen multiple times.

I went to see Jason Mraz on Wednesday and he was fantastic. One of my more favorite concerts. The venue of course made it that much better, a more intimate setting always makes a concert better in my opinion.

He played my favorite songs, he gave me goosebumps. He made me feel good. He made me move. He made me laugh. That's what good music does for me. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who likes a good show. His live version of The Remedy was awesome. Scott even had a nice time and he's not a big music fan.

In addition to that Kink.FM is playing some great music in the next few weeks. They are my favorite station in town and will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary on Christmas Day. In honor of that they are playing music from each year they've been on air starting today with 1968. I've heard The Beatles (yay!), James Taylor, Johnny Cash, and Aretha Franklin. At noon today they are going to play the entire Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album with extras you usually don't hear on the radio. I am pleased as punch!

You can listen online if you don't live here in Portland. Just go to

It should be a fun walk down memory lane for some. Also just plain good music.

Happy Friday!

Veteran's Day

The Certificate of Live Birth lists the street address as Gigling Road. Gigling is missing one "g" but it's pronounced the same way. And so the story of how I was born on Gigling Road begins. I was born on base at Fort Ord in Monterey, California on Good Friday. My father was a Staff Sargent, my mother was a civilian Army wife. We only lived on base for a few months with our little cock-a-poo Token before my Dad was honorably discharged after eight years of service.

Silas B Hayes Army Hospital

My life in the military was very limited, only four months total, but I still tell people I'm an Army Brat. I figure I earned the title and there is something a little fun about having been born at one of the most beautiful bases in the country, okay maybe the city is the most beautiful if the base isn't. Plus, despite my father's discharge while I was so young, the military still influenced my life in a few ways. My father was a Vietnam Vet, to say that he was changed or touched by the war would be an understatement. Plus I remember finding the MCI (Meal, Combat, Individual) Rations in my parents closet where I was thrilled to discover little pieces of candy coated gum which I then proceed to eat. I credit the US Army with my love of gum that continues to this day! I always wanted to take my dad's Army issue duffel bag to sleep overs, I thought it was so cool that he still had all those things, along with piles and piles of photos. Of course at the time I was too young to understand the significance of those pieces of his life, I just loved to hear the stories of his dog Arrow that the had to leave behind. Not really grasping that my father, an animal lover, had to leave behind a pet because he was going back to the US after spending a year in country. Of course that is just the start of sadness and horrors witnessed in Vietnam.

My mother's father is also a vet, he fought in Germany in WWII. He has all sorts of books, medals and pictures. His war was frightening too but of course, there is something romantical about WWII. Perhaps it's the stories like my grandparents, meeting at a USO dance at Fort Lewis, falling in love on a first date and getting married before he shipped off to war. My grandfather has just recently, after the death of his wife, started talking about the war. I'm not sure if he wanted to shield her from those memories or if talking about it actually helps him remember her because it is how they met. Regardless of the reason I am thankful, because his fight and service is a part of my family history as well as my nations history. I had no idea until just a few years ago that he is the recipient of a Silver Star Medal.

Veterans are a special lot in this world. Many volunteered, many were drafted, all of them served our country in a capacity that is not easy. Even those who may never have left our own soil still sacrificed their daily, normal lives to be ready at the beck and call of war or conflict. Such a great sacrifice, such a noble act.

I don't think it's any secret that I am anti-war. I hold the Vietnam war partially responsible for my lack of relationship with my father. Perhaps true, perhaps not. It is an easy excuse for me to hold onto. But even though I am anti-conflict, I am in full support of the men and women who serve our country. They fill a void that I could not. They give up things I could not. Many make the ultimate sacrifice. It takes a special person to do this. I know because I know many vets, family or not, and they are all extremely special, in so many ways.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and I'll be thinking of all of them, particularly those I know and love.

Weekend Plans

I heart cupcakes. Actually I heart frosting and making pretty things with it. So this weekend I'm going to make cupcakes for no real reason other then I feel the need to work in a medium where I can create something adorable and delicious. I don't really have anyone to eat them, but they will sit on one of my pretty cake stands and look adorable until Scott decides they might go well with a cup of coffee one morning. If you need a cupcake let me know. Cupcakes have a magical quality that makes people feel better just by seeing them and holding them. Eating them has led to states of euphoria.

Pittock Mansion has been calling my name so I think Scott and I must go. I haven't been in many many years and Scott has never seen the house. While it's raining outside we might as well find some inside beautiful to check out. Plus it's supposed to be haunted and I want to go and see if I get my usual tingle-ies when I walk into a haunted area. For $7 a person it's a pretty affordable way to spend a weekend afternoon and we looooove affordable! Heck, to be honest I should just say I'm cheap.

I also get to mop my kitchen floors. They need it. Badly. I hate moping, and my floor never looks clean because it's that 1960's yellow and green linoleum. But I know it's dirty and I can't ignore it any longer. The rest of the house is clean and tidy and that stupid floor has been bugging me all week.

Paperwork also looms. OHSU has sent over a packet that I must have done before our appointment on the 20th. Probably easy stuff, but who likes to fill out paperwork? Better to get it done though right?

As a reward for mopping the kitchen floor and filling out my paper work I am going to Powell's on Sunday to buy a used book that has been much loved by another and will become a permenate part of my own library. With the weather turning into fall/winter I need books to cuddle up with on the couch.

And I guess that's that! I hope everyone has a loveyly weekend.

Spinach Artichoke Dip wins by a landslide! Oh and Prop 8 sucks!

The election is over…almost. We’re still waiting on a senate race here in Oregon, but other then that I’d say most races have been called and it’s time now to move on, watch and learn. I ate way too much Spinach Artichoke dip while watching the results come in and I feel fat and icky today because of it. Next time it’s a veggie tray! That’s my first lesson from election night.

I think this election has left some fractures, and I know the outcome left many disappointed. I know, I know, all you Obama supporters have probably removed the word “disappointed” from your vocabulary as of this morning…

Regardless, it’s never easy to see your guy loose so I am sorry for those people who had put their support behind McCain. I don’t agree with his politics but I loved his speech last night. I wish both candidates and their running mates could have been that gracious through the entire election process.

And then there is California…

Cali is where I come from. I will always be a California girl no matter how many years I spend in Oregon. I was born for warm days and rays of sunshine. Ocean beaches, redwood trees, banana slugs, and San Jose State Football games are pieces of my childhood. Even though it’s frowned upon here in Oregon, I’m happy to tell people where I moved from. I think California is GREAT. Unfortunately, this morning, California is like the unruly, obnoxious, loud mouth kid in your second grade class that got tapped to his desk because he couldn’t stop disrupting things. You just want to sit him down and try to reason with him and then you realize you can’t reason with crazy so you feel helpless and frustrated.

Now don’t take offense California friends. I think most of you are probably as disappointed as I am today. And if you’re not a California voter then you might actually be really confused about this blog so far. I can’t vote in Cali but you can bet your ass had I been able to I would have been a big fat NO on 8.

8 changes the California constitution to read "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." So that means gay marriage is out. Without getting too far into a religious discussion I just want to say this: Changing constitutions to include language such as this is ridiculous and dangerous. Any sort of amendment that restricts ones freedoms (and that is what Prop 8 does) and or takes away rights from one group of people is not in line with the fundamental basis for The United States of America. You can not live in a country where we are encouraged to practice the freedom of religion and then pass legislature that clearly limits someone's right because your book of faith doesn’t agree with their choices. Our government separates church and state to protect EVERYONE'S right to believe any religion they choose. If we fail to separate church and state we risk losing that protection. If that happens then we become one of those places where people are persecuted for following the Koran, The Book of Mormon, or attending temple. This country was created to prevent that. This country was created to escape that. Turn the tables and imagine a country where Christianity is not the largest religion base and now because we’ve allowed church into our government we are no longer allowed to attend a Baptist service and your marriage, preformed by a pastor in your own church, is now invalid because it doesn’t meet with current laws. Yet, in the eyes of God, it is still sacred because that’s a contract between you and Him, not the US government.

Despite my complete disappointment with California passing Prop 8 I do have some hope in knowing that progress has been made on a grand scale in politics this week. Barriers have been broken and that can only mean that we will see more of that in the years to come. That is the kind of change I want, but next time I’d like a woman to break that barrier…or a gay man dressed as a woman, or a gay woman dressed like a man, or a gay person dressed however the hell they want. Let’s just break some barriers and let people live their lives as long as they aren’t harming us.

And Luzma, like I said before, chin up. Karma has a way of fixing these things and goodness overcomes bigotry and prejudice. It may not happen right away, but it happens and a very wise man knew that and said this:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

If anyone needs to feel a good warm fuzzy today, go read that speech. Feel its words and think about what’s happened since he stood before that crowd in 1963. Those words ring true today, and can apply to any injustice. And adding to the poignancy is the sentence just nine lines up from the very end.

Be good to one another today.

Creepy Crawlies!

Tomorrow is Halloween, perfect time for gross, creepy, icky things. My Halloween seems to have started out a little early!!!

This morning while getting out of the shower I went to wrap my hair in a towel, only to find a spider waiting for me. He was big too! So I had to shake him out then wash him down the drain. ICK!

Then at work I'm sitting at my desk and I swear that I feel something crawling on my leg, but I chalk it up to having the creepy crawlies from my spider incident earlier....nooooooope! There was a box elder who had crawled up my pant leg and made it all the way up to my knee! DOUBLE ICK! Bug in my personal space bubble!!!! I didn't scream or shriek, but I did jump up and do the "Icky Bug in My Pants" dance. Entertainment for coworkers I am sure.

This is a box elder bug.
They are all over my office, and usually harmless...

We're going to carve pumpkins tonight while we watch The Office and 30 Rock. I'm sure they won't turn out as cool as the ones Andy and Luzma did for us two years ago as a house warming present, but we're going to try!

Super cool pumpkins made by

Andy and Luzma

No big plans for Halloween itself. I'm making a Creole Style Pork Stew for Scott and Bruce since Charity is out of town for work. She's going to the Winchester Mystery House for the flashlight guided tour on Halloween night. I am completely jealous on two accounts, 1) she's in my home town and I miss it 2) she's going on the flashlight tour!

I will of course be dressed up for handing out candy, so if you'd like to see my Sarah Palin/Hockey Mom get up come over to trick or treat. We're gonna be the cool house with regular sized candy bars this year. Well we will have them if I can get Scott to stop eating them!

Hope everyone has a safe, fun, or spooky Halloween night!

Feeling Good

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy
All you need is love, all you need is love ~ The Beatles

Sometimes someone does something that is so amazing that is turns your mood, your view or your outlook around. Sometimes in the span of a day, it could be smile from a stranger, or someone letting you go ahead in a long line. It could be a car on the freeway letting you merge; it could be a loved one giving you a hug. Sometimes these things seem small an insignificant, especially to the giver of the gift, but in reality they are huge because it is a spark to a fire that will build momentum.

Why the mushy sentimentality?

I was blessed with one of those moments tonight. An old friend, who I never get to see, who has been separated via time and miles, sent me a card, with a letter, and a gift. As I told her in an email that I sent tonight, even the envelope with her hand writing made me feel good. Even more though, was her note in the inside. It said that she believed in me. Sometimes it’s nice to see that in print. To know someone took time out of their day to buy a card, write in it, put a stamp on it, and send it to you, makes a person feel special.

I don’t know if there is one single word that describes how I feel today, perhaps hopeful? Or maybe optimistic? But really it’s more than that. I feel so many things.

In the last week or so I’ve had multiple people reach out to me. They give me feedback, encouragement, advice and just plain acceptance. I don’t know if everyone is as lucky I am, but I hope they are.

It’s very easy for me to get into self pity mode, and focus solely on me. But the mail that I received tonight was good a reminder that there are other people out there who may not have the same issues I do, but need encouragement and support none the less. I may not even be privy to what is going on in their lives, but a card or a quick hello can never hurt.

So I’m going to start a Just Because Initiative. I’m going to make sure I’m better at doing little things, just because I can and just because sometimes it means a world of difference.

Thank you for the warm fuzzies and sweet sentiments old friend. You really have no idea what you have done for me today. I miss you and wish you lived closer.

As an aside, I will need mailing address for anyone who reads this blog. Christmas cards are coming up and you may get something Just Because!

Monday, Monday

Ah what a weekend, relaxing, sunny, three cups of hot cocoa, a little shopping, and football. It was the perfect fall weekend. Only thing I didn't do that I should have was yard work. It was probably our last dry, warm weekend and I should have used the time to trim down the jungle that my yard has become, alas I didn't even think of it until it was too late and I'm babysitting tonight so it'll just have to wait.

After some conversations with people, some soul searching and some self checking I've decided I can't ask people to donate to our baby fund. I can't tell you how those who offered made me feel. Something between warm fuzzy and forever grateful, but I can't ask for that sort of help. It will eventually make me uncomfortable and you all have so many things you could be using that money for. Times are hard now, every penny counts. But again, I must reiterate that your offers were so kind, and so warm and I love you all for even thinking about it. Even if you just thought about it and didn't say anything. I am blessed with some of the most wonderful people in my life, near and far.

So if I could suggest, instead of donating to our cause, send me as much positive energy as possible. Whether that be in prayer, good vibes, happy thoughts, mail, email, phone calls, text messages or telepathy, send it over. I believe that this world is a better place when we're all wishing better things for people. I'm going to trust in my higher power that he will take care of me and provide for me in the way it was always meant to be. If a baby was meant to be it will happen. I have to believe that. I also have to believe that medical intervention has improved so greatly in the last fifteen years that my dream is that much more attainable!

I'm going to continue to use this blog as a way of letting people in on the process if they care to know, and I'll use the website domain I bought for when we actually get to announce that we're expecting. It will be a little reward.

In non-baby news Scott has almost finished the kitchen cabinets he has been making. This means I will soon have a dishwasher! It's been so long I don't even know what I'll do with all the time I'll have now that I don't have to scrub every plate and fork by hand. I'm getting a garbage disposal too! I don't know when it will all be installed, but Scott spent the weekend tearing things apart and cutting through walls to get it all ready. I hate living in a remodel but this one should be small and quick...I hope.

Thanks for reading...I'll try to be more entertaining, less baby as the days go on. I know it gets old reading the same things over and over...

Moving Forward

I have done two things to get the process started...

1. I have called OHSU to get the ball rolling. Scott and I will go in for an initial consultation in a few weeks and see what the doctors have to say. I am trying to remind myself that it's not smart to get excited about this. There is every possibility they could say they can't help us. I need to be prepared for that. I'm not trying to be a Negative Nellie, I'm just trying to be realistic. If it turns out they can help us it will be super awesome!

2. I have registered a domain name for a website where I will tell our story, and ask for donations. I have mixed feelings about asking for monetary donations. On the one hand I know it would be so helpful, and I know that I would donate to someone in a similar situation. On the other hand, it seems like I shouldn't be asking for donations for something like this. There are so many charities in this world that need money, and so many people with so much less than me. I almost feel guilty, but I have to remind myself that if I want to acomplish this I have to be willing to ask for help, even if it comes to donations.

That's it for today....fall is definately here and while I ususally abhor the cold weather I am actually enjoying the season change this year. The colors are brilliant and the sky is still sunny for now. I'm ready for pumpkins and trick or treaters!

Additional notes and ideas on baby stuff

I'm using this blog as a sounding board. It helps me feel like I've talked to lots of people, thus getting it off my chest, when in reality I wasn't annoying you in person. I know hearing me talk about not having babies gets old for some people.

When I write here it's kind of like those free writing exercises we did in creative writing classes. So sometimes it may not all be in order or make complete sense.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I had an idea on the way home (and I think Lyn and I talked about this a long time ago). Would it be crazy to get a p.o. box and post something on craigslist (in multiple cities) and ask people to send in $1? If I set up a legit website so they knew they were sending it to a real person do you think it would work? If I set up a paypal account to make it even easier would it work? I don't know if it's a viable option, but it would only take 5,000 or 6,000 people contributing to make the difference. Hell even 500 people would make a difference.

Maybe it's a crazy idea? Thoughts? Suggestions? Other ideas?

By the way, on the way home, listening to the radio I heard that Daria, my favorite afternoon DJ is now expecting after trying for a little while. I was happy for her, but still felt sad. the good news is she was talking to a psychic who had actually told her this was going to happen. Maybe I need to visit that psychic and see what she has to say. Again, I know I'm getting desperate, but that's the reality of it folks!

Beg, borrow, or steal...

Things I am willing to do to get pregnant. Sounds pretty desperate, and I suppose that's because at this point I am! After over six years of trying and medial test results that pretty much guarantee we'll need to pursue IVF (in vitro), I've decided I can't keep putting it off and hoping for a miracle. Sometimes you have to get off your ass to make things happen, in fact most times you do.

A few things have prompted this most recent decision, mostly hearing that EVERYONE and their sister, or cousin, or co-worker is pregnant. I hate being jealous and I hate what an absolute nasty bitch I turn into when I am jealous. Normally I don't have completely irrational, nasty, mean thoughts about people. Lately I find that my mind is shocking even myself with the nastiness and I don't want to be that person. So to change that, I'm changing my own game plan. Taling charge if you will.

Through a generous grant from my mother we're almost half way to enough money for IVF. I have saved another $1000 myself and should have a few more by summer. Total cost is between $10, 000 and $20, 000.

My game plan for the rest of the money is this...

1. Start saving all loose change. All of it, even pennies! It does add up. I know because I bought luggage the last time I counted all my change.
2. Returning bottles and cans instead of giving them to the homeless who come though our neighborhood. I hate the sticky mess, but I figure sticky messes are part of being a mom and I can use it as practice.
3. Taking on extra jobs if and when they come up. I don't know how this will work out yet but I'm open to ideas. I plan an awesome party if you need help organizing a baby shower, bridal shower or afternoon tea. I even make invitations and all sorts of matching coordinates.
4. Asking for help. I hate to even bring it up. Money is tight for everyone. But maybe if you felt so inclined you could save pennies for me too? I'll roll them myself. Every bit helps.
5. Thinking positivley and adjusting my additude. I think karma is real and I think if I am a better person and spend more time being helpful to others, some higher power just might take mercy on me and give me a gift.
6. Perhaps planning a fundraiser of sorts, like a car wash? or something?. Again I feel bad asking. There are so many charities out there that deserve support and help. I hate to take away from that, but I hope that some might see that I was always meant to have a baby or two. I was meant to play with playdough and make collages. I was meant to sing lullabys to a swaddled bundle and I was meant to volunteer in classrooms. I was built to be a mom, somehow my anatomy missed that memo!

The good news is that I think it can work. The bad news is that it's a long journey and it doesn't always end up the way you hope it does. But I can't sit around and always wonder what if.

To put the plan in motion I've already contacted one clinic here in Portland to talk to them about options, finance and time frames.

Wish me luck and if you do find youself in a position to help please let me know.

Again, I'm sorry to ask, but like the title says, I'm willing to do just about anything at this point! And please feel free to pass this on to people if you think they might even be able to just offer some empathy. I know lots of people struggle with this.


Olivia is famous!

I always knew she was a star. She has the diva mentality down to a fine science. She IS a princess, and if she could speak she would tell you that.

In March she had the chance to strut her stuff in her very own photo shoot. She wagged, and romped in the grass and ate treats all while having her picture taken by a professional photographer. She was living the high life.

She actually behaved quite well and the photographer even told me she was beautiful. Might be the first time anyone has called her that. I love her but I know she has one of those mugs only a mother can love.

Despite her snaggle tooth and sour disposition she actually takes a great photo and is now in a book along side hundreds of other dogs who either live at a winery or belong to people who work at them.

It's a great book if you're a dog lover. All sorts of silly stories and funny little anecdotes about the little (and sometimes huge) pups. If you want a copy let me know, Olivia will even sign it for you. I promise I won't turn into one of those out of control stage moms....

Just look at that face! How can you not want to snuggle with her?

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

I love palindromes, and I love plans!

I have a new plan, and that is to actually commit to running. I hate it. I absolutely hate running. I believe that people who say they love running are either lying or totally off their rocker. Running, however, makes you healthier and sometimes skinnier and I want to be both of those things.

My best friend runs marathons. I will not be running marathons. I will run 5k's, maybe 10k's and if I can work up to it maybe a half marathon. That's a HUGE maybe, but I have my eye on one in particular. But that's big picture, and right now I just need to put one foot in front of the other, literally.

I can currently run about a mile to a mile and a half without needing to take a walking break.

I have decided that by the end of November I need to be able to run 2 miles without stopping. By the end of December I need to be up to 3. After that we'll see how it goes.

But here is the kicker, I need to be held accountable for this running, so I'm going to log my running here. I've been inspired by my brother-in-law who is also running, despite the fact that he also dislikes it. Andy is kicking ass and taking names and I wanna be like that too.

I also work better with rewards so I've decided that I will get something special when I reach each milestone...and I want some help with ideas. I think rewards should match the task so when I can run two miles it should be something small, but when I reach my first 5k it should be special.

Okay, so now my plan is in print. It's official and now I have to get started. Sunday I run. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tag! I'm it!

I was tagged for this so here goes! The rules of this tag are to share where I was 20, 10, 5, 3, 1 year ago and where I am today, tomorrow, and next year... :

20 years ago...

I was 10 years old and in Mr. Marhsall's class at Rolling Hills Middle School. I wanted to be Laura Ingals Wilder for Halloween so my mom made me a dress and bonnet. I was convinced I looked just like her. I was friends with Nyia, Renee, Karissa and Sarah and I had just discovered the awesomeness that is Ramen Noodles. Nyia's mom let me have some and I've been in love with the salty goodness ever sense. I had honed my skills on Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers and had the coolest blue 10 speed bike in the neigborhood! I was totally in love with Eric Lopez and Cody Brown, neither had any idea that I existed. I preformed the most entertaining lipsync dance with Nyia and Karissa to a Gloria Estevan song and I had horrible taste in clothes though I thought otherwise at the time. Hello neon yellow and orange tie died leggings!

10 years ago...

I was 20 and working at my very first big girl, real job at Timberline Software as a Call Center Receptionist. I had my own apartment and a roommate, Heather who was at the time my very best friend. I'd just brought little Olivia the pup home to live with me and she was the cutest most entertaining fluff ball I'd ever seen. I had been dating Scott for about a year and things were starting to get serious. Everyone else was 21 so I spent most of my evenings at home while they went out, but that was fine by me. I never missed an episode of Ally McBeal and I learned that I actually had a talent for baking and decorating cakes, which turns out is kind of an old lady hobby but I still love it.

5 years ago...

Scott and I had celebrated our third wedding anniversary and had sold our condo in Sherwood. We were living in a craptacular apartment in Aloha but the rent was cheap and my commute to work was all of 6 minutes, plus it was close to Target and Nordstrom Rack which always make me happy! That year I was let go from my job as AP Customer Service Rep at Timberline. That summer I took advantage of my time off and traveled to South Carolina by myself to see the South and meet up with some girlfriends. I spent three days in Charleston before starting out on an unplanned road trip to Houston. It was the first time in my life I decided to throw out my itinerary. I returned home and continued to make and use lists and itineraries, but my dependency was weakining.

3 years ago...

Still living in Aloha but starting to think about how to move into the city. I was working for Manpower as a Staffing Specialist. I had no idea that it would introduce me to some of the strangest, most bizarre people and situations. Really, someone had a 16 page rap sheet for his background check with an open warrant! The job was fun but very stressful and I soon tired of firing people on a daily basis so began to look for jobs here and there, but not too actively. Spent a lot of time tagging along as Charity planned her wedding and had fun trying on pretty dresses. Have I ever mentioned that I look smashing in red? Took a trip to Disneyland with my Mother in Law and Sister in Law, along with my nephew. I beat him on the Buzz Lightyear ride and I retain the title as champ to this day, I don't care if he was only 5 at the time.

1 year ago...

I had been working at the vineyard for just over a year and was completely immersed in the harvest process. Grapes and fruit floes everywhere! Scott and I had just one year before purchased our first home with a little help from mom and we were settling in to our neighborhood in SE PDX. I took crash course, hands on, lesson in yard maintenance and would discover that I don't actually kill all plants, just ones in containers! We also flew down to Puerto Vallarta with a group of friends and enjoyed the sunshine for a week. I brokey my toe, first broken bone in all my life, and on a piece of drift wood no less!


I am still working at the vineyard. It's harvest time again and the place is a madhouse! I own my very own new car for the first time. Her name is Gretta the Jetta and I love her. I am training to run a 5k, which isn't much to most people but since I am anti exercise it's a pretty big deal to me. I am an auntie to Nathan who is 7 going on 30 and Jake and KayLee who are both two. The twins are a handful but so much fun that I volunteer to hang out with them. We're still in our adorable little house and Scott is currently building us new kitchen cabinets. I can't wait for them to be done because I haven't had a dishwasher in three years! Girl could use a break from grease and grime!


I am supposed to volunteer at the food bank like I do every Thursday but I called off because I just need a few days to get back on my feet after a weeks vacation. My pile of laundry is not pretty. I might stop by the bookstore to and buy myself a few things to read.

Next year...

Maybe we'll get a little more serious about perusing some fertility treatments or adoption. Maybe I'll have stared the little side business I've been thinking about. Maybe I'll have written the novel that keeps playing in my head. Maybe I'll be voted worlds best auntie because I spoiled the kids rotten!

So now you know a little about where I've been and now it's my turn to tag a few others. Here's to Alee Richards, Andrea Shaffer and...well I don't know anyone else with a blog?!?!


Things are unstable. It makes me nervous. I think about "things" way too much these days. I hate it. Just a few months ago I was thinking that I was doing pretty good. That I'd gotten myself into a pretty good place, a little savings, some good interest rates on my credit cards, a new car that I could I think, I need a bigger savings account and I need to clean off those credit cards just in case!

I know I'm not in a position to change the way our economy is functioning and that too makes me nervous. I have no control over what will happen.

I'm a control freak. I don't like it when I can't change the outcome.

The yo-yo stock market baffles me. One day we're up, the next we're down. Admittedly I am not a Wall Street expert, but the whole thing is so messy and discombobulated that it makes me shiver to think about it. The trading incites panic and a panicky public is scary.

Part of me wants to start hiding money under my mattress. Maybe I should stock my pantry? Of course I realize that I panic easily and that I must try to stay rational as I watch the US dollar tank. I know my bank, which was just bought out by a larger bank, is insured by the FDIC. That's great, except the FDIC was created to secure a few banks with short terms loans. Right now they are being pushed to near capacity and the loans are going to be longer term. Freaks me out a bit.

I was in Mexico last week. Lowest exchange rate I've ever witnessed there. I've been four times, in for different years. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't what I remember.

I'm going to mind my p's and q's and try not to think about what could happen. I have a crazy imagination that borders on unhealthy when I worry.

I will have to find other things for my brain to focus on. Maybe I'll write that book I've always wanted to...

On the move!

Harvest is almost here and that means work is gearing up for the busiest time of our year! On top of normal harvest craziness we're currently moving our entire production facility to the new winery! The place is a mad house to say the least.

While everyone is really excited about the new winery it is a bit sad to watch things slowly move out of the building and get loaded up onto trucks. The historic winery will feel a bit empty I think, I'm not sure how I feel about that, and I suspect when I come home from vacation week after next to find a completely empty space I will feel a bit lost. If you've ever read any of my other harvest blogs you know that the winery comes alive this time of year, and while I'll still get to see and be a part of some of it, it won't be a constant as it has been in years past.

I've taken some pictures in the last few days, trying to document as much as I can. They really don't do any justice to the mass force and brute strength it takes to pull some of this off. Plus a lot of it's very delicate work. I can't say enough about our crew, they amaze me day after day. I can see the stress and fatigue starting to show on their faces but they keep a good attitude no matter what.

The winery tank room last week

The tank room today

Moving a tank, two forklifts and a pallet jack at a time!

Tanks in motion

Crush pad being used for barrel storage, and the grapes that will eventually see the inside of a barrel.

Grapes are getting ripe, tanks and barrels are moving, harvest interns are arriving. It's time to make some wine people! We start picking next week and I'll keep you updated when I get home from Mexico.

Oh did I mention that I'm going to Mexico? Yeah I am, on Sunday, for a week. I will have a drink for all of you :)

toilets, turtles, harry potter and goodnight moon...

...that's a short description of my evening last night. I got to babysit the munchkins while Trish and Justin went to dinner and a movie.

When I got there I was a little surprised to see Jake running around the house sans diaper and pants. Of course it all made sense when he promptly sat down on his brand new potty. I guess he asked for it all on his own, sounds like every mom's dream to me! Thankfully before Trish left she convinced hip to put his diaper back on. Auntie's are made to spoil children rotten and change an occasional diaper, not empty out potty's!

He's just so proud of himself I had to take a picture. He doesn't quite understand what he's supposed to do once he's sitting on it, but he has so much enthusiasm it just doesn't matter at the moment.

KayLee likes the potty, but I wouldn't say she's as gung-ho as Jaker. She really just likes to ware the little cushioned seat as a bracelet. Oh course that sends Jake on a mission to "fix" his toilet. Pretty darn cute all around.

After playing with the new toilet, reading a few books, jumping on the bed, playing with a turtley awesome stuffed turtle, and trying on everyone elses shoes it was time to put them to bed, so we had bottles, and read Goodnight Moon. Of course then we had to say goodnight to everything in the house. But they went down no problems and I felt succesful! Not an easy feat with 2 year old twins.

Almost time for bed!

Once the twins we down for the count I finally got to spend some one on one time with Nathan, who had been very good while his siblings were still up and running around the house. In fact there are no pictures of him because he was being so good at entertaining himself in other parts of the house.

He and I read a chapter to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets just before bed time. It was a whole different experience for me to read that to a child. He was so enthralled and excited. It made me want to reread the entire series though his eyes. I've missed the magic of Harry, Hermione, Ron and Hagrid!

All in all it was a good night, munchkin snuggles and one on one time with Nathan!


So Tom Brady is out with a knee injury that will require surgery. A crushing blow to Patriot fans, and many Fantasy Football owners, my Scottie included – on both counts. It’s not the end of the world, in fact if any athlete is motivated to return in the best shape ever, it’s Brady. It’s also football, not a life changing event for me, but still a hard pill to swallow. We spend a lot of time watching and cheering Brady and the Pats. I’m hopeful for Cassell who stepped in like a champ and brought us a victory. I’m confident the other players, who work so well as a team will continue to do so, but it’s still sad news for a player who commits fully.

I’ve been reading a lot of coverage on this and the poor sportsmanship of some people is beyond me. Apparently at the ESPN Sport Zone in Manhattan, the entire bar cheered when he went down. When it became obvious that it was a serious injury message boards all over the internet praised the KC player who took him out, and laughed and joked about Brady all while chanting that he deserved it. Say what?

Now I know football is a rough sport. Heck the injured list after yesterday’s games grew quite a bit, but no one deserves to have a career threatening injury. There are teams I hate, for example the NY Yankees, but I would never cheer Jeter or Damon going out of the game with a horrible injury. I don’t like the Giants or the Colts, but you don’t hear me wishing a fractured leg for either Manning boy. I will admit that on occasion I’ve wished for Peyton to get a thump and a bruise on his forehead just because I’m so sick of seeing it in every commercial, but I don’t wish him pain and I certainly wouldn’t want him to suffer and scream on the field. And I wouldn’t gloat to fans of those teams that I was going to take the championship. Some of the things I’ve been reading are pretty vile. Realizing I’m a tad bit sensitive to the whole mess I think I need to step away from it, I’m just really disheartened that people would actually wish harm on a player so their team can benefit.

And then there are things that put everything in perspective. While we were bemoaning our fates as football fans, our good friends were making the choice to put down a beloved dog. Marble was a super cool wolf/Sheppard mix and I had the pleasure of baby sitting him on a few occasions. Unfortunately he had deteriorated with age and it was time to end his suffering. It’s such a horrible choice to make and I know that selfishly a pet owner wants to hold onto this family member who has brought countless hours of joy into a home. On the other hand, you love that pet enough to know that they are suffering and you have the power to relive that.

I know that Marble is in dog heaven chasing after opossums and squirrels and eating all the potato chips and chicken he can find. I only hope that his owner, Bruce, finds some comfort in the days to come. Personally I would be a wreck if I had to put Olivia down. There is a special level of comfort that a fluffy dog or cat provides. It’s a connection not shared with other humans, and I know that connection runs very deep for owners.

* sigh *

If only we could just start Sunday over and end up with a better outcome for everyone.

Marble 1995-2008