Monday, May 15, 2017

Spring in Fast Forward

Wow!  Where did April go, let alone half of May?!?

Tal and I have been busy working on the house.  We have our living room, dining room and kitchen painted.  The colors are a robin's egg blue, a storm deep blue and a terracotta orange throughout the spaces.  The first floor has come together nicely.  Our bedroom has a duvet cover that continues with the color theme, and the main bathroom flows with the color palette.  It makes me feel happy and more settled in our home.

Plus, we have enjoyed family and friends coming to visit with us.  A house feels more like a home with people in it.  It has been a pleasure hosting our loved ones.  Hope the trend continues through the summer with warm weather.

Next, we are shifting our attention to the outside.  We spent one weekend ripping up a bed of ivy.  Then we took to two spots that once had dead trees and filled up the soil to plant grass.  Most of what we are doing to the yard is in preparation to start new.  Someday we would like a garden.  Just have to work on getting all of the overgrowth cleared.

As for the late spring and summer, I have lots of travel plans.  One of the trips is a conference for work and most of the others are to visit family and friends.  I should have travel plans each month for the next six months!  But, the end of the travel blitz will be to celebrate my 40th birthday in Key West.  I'm so excited for that trip!

Life has been pretty good.

Microblog Mondays

Friday, March 31, 2017


You both would have been eight.  Getting to be big kids now.  Nearly grown up past the daydreams I once had imaging my life with you.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

As of Late

Some brief updates since my last post:

  • Been focusing on my health to get my body in better shape, both for myself and when we want to be more actively trying for a child.  Being better about taking my vitamins and getting enough regular sleep.
  • Had gotten back into building a more regular workout schedule with running and some biking.  I was making good use of my planner to map out my workout time for the week and recording it once it was complete.  My hope was to train for another half-marathon in the spring.
  • However, much of the progress I made on my health goals came to a grinding halt when I got sick.  I was really sick!  I got a nasty upper respiratory virus that later turned into an ear infection.  It all lasted seven days (plus two trips to the doctor) until I actually started to feel a bit more normal.  I did a lot of nothing but rest and take in fluids.  On the eighth day I was well enough to return to work.  Tal commented that I was actually much more myself and I don't think it was until then that he fully realized how sick I was.  Fortunately, I only had to miss two days of actual work because of my rotating schedule.  Unfortunately, I was sick during my long weekend off and two other days off and had to work four straight when going back to work.
  • Had a bit to catch up on at work the following week.  While it was just two days of actual work missed, I had a lot planned for those two days, plus emails and it being busy season at the hospital (peak of flu season).  So, I didn't really get back to exercise because I was letting myself get plenty of sleep while I was still recovering from being sick.
  • Working on the house.  During late fall/ early winter, we painted the dining room and living room.  Took a break during the holidays.  After rebuilding some of the savings, we recently bought some new furniture and lamps.  I think it has been hard for me to really jump into more actively trying to have a child because I want to feel more settled in the house.  We hope to paint the kitchen in a few weeks.  And we are just about done unpacking the last bits from the move.  Our house is feeling more like a home.
  • Enjoying time as a couple.  It is important for us to connect.  While having a child at our age is not preferred and time is ticking, I don't want to rush things to just check a box.  We need time for us and our relationship is a priority.  Without a solid relationship, it would be very challenging to raise a family.  So, we enjoyed restaurant week, went to a concert and talked about future plans.
So, moving forward, I plan on getting back to the gym, we've picked some dates for finishing up the painting and hopefully we can schedule delivery of our new furniture soon.  By spring we should feel much more settled in our house.  May have to pick a different race and scale back to a 10K, but it will feel good to reach a more attainable goal.  And we have to focus on our timeline for when we feel ready to take the next steps.  Time will tell if we may need to readjust our family building plan, but I'd rather take the time we need to build a solid foundation than to rush something that needs that foundation.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


With all that has happened and is happening in the United States and around the world, to say that it is worrisome is an understatement.  I really do not like to get political online or on social media, as I do not like to invite confrontation and I'd rather respectfully discuss issues in person.

Since November, it has been difficult to wrap my brain around the election results.  It was sad to see Obama's last days in office as President.  On the day of the inauguration, I felt worse than the day after election day.  This past week and a half has been an overload on the senses with so many quick and drastic actions being taken.  It is very upsetting.

I worry about so many things that it feels difficult to know where to focus one's efforts and voice.  Healthcare, education, the environment, conservation, clean energy, immigration, libraries, public radio, human rights, free speech, they are all important.  And I'm sure there are other areas that I am forgetting because it is all so much.  It feels like the rule book is being thrown out and everything is rapidly devolving.

I'm trying to keep informed, but it can be overwhelming.  It is all very upsetting and I am worried.

However, I am glad that I am not the only one.  Someone shared this post.  A reminder of self-care is important.  Take action, and take steps to protect yourself.  It is likely going to be a marathon, not a sprint, to get through these next four years.  And on the state and local level, my eyes are opened wide.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Year, New Theme

For the past two years, instead of making a New Year's resolution, I've picked a theme with a corresponding quote.

In 2015, the theme was peace.  I felt the quote became something of a mantra and helped to center me.  Success!

In 2016, the theme was do, as in the opposite of procrastinate.  It was a big one to tackle.  Not sure how well I did there, I'd say mixed reviews.  However, I give myself credit for trying.  Small progress.

In 2017, my theme is health.

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself.  Mind.  Body.  Spirit." -- Unknown

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Elite Entry

In recognition for what was my best blog entry for the year, I am highlighting it here and hope it will be a yearly tradition.

When deciding, I think about something that really touched me deeply--not only while I was writing it, but that it also resonated with me after I wrote it.  There is something in the post that communicates something deep and significant while continuing to be appreciated after having reflected on that moment, idea or experience.  A lesson learned, something to remember carrying forward.

This year's Elite Entry:

Dark Side Before Venturing into TTC

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Cards

There is something about sending and receiving Christmas cards that warms the heart.  I think it is the thought of someone thinking about you.  And I get a little reminiscent and reflect of fond, fun memories of that person, whether writing the card or receiving it.

When I go home at Christmas time, my mom will invite me to look through their card pile.  Sometimes there are pictures or a little note.  Then I usually help my mom to tape them up on the inside of the front door.  It is one way to add to the decorations.

As I was perusing the cards this year, one particular card had a note that did not sit well with me.  Most of the cards were from people that I know, but this one I did not.  There was a question asking if my parents were grandparents yet.  And they continued by saying that having grandchildren is the best thing ever!  It ticked me off.  My first thought was that they must not really know my parents that well.  It felt like salt in the wound, maybe more for my mom and dad.  I felt protective of them and wanted to rip up the card.  But, it was not my card.  So, I put it back in its envelope and did not say anything to my mom.

About a month before that while talking on the phone with my mom, I asked her if she and my dad were disappointed or sad that they weren't grandparents.  My mom quickly and simply said no.  She said no and not to worry about it.  I try not to worry, but the guilt is still there.

Maybe the hopeful comment was more a reflection that if my parents were grandparents, they would be loving, caring ones.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy First Wedding Anniversary

Tal and I went to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  It was a really nice trip, and a perfect to get away.  We left the house painting, Christmas shopping and end of the year work hustle behind and to be just us together.

We saw a play, Finding Neverland, enjoyed fancy meals, went to the Art Institute of Chicago and perused the Christkindlmarket.  We also went to see a late showing of Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them.  It was a fun weekend.  :)  Tal and I ended the weekend at home eating a replication of the top tier of our wedding cake, which was a surprise for Tal, and we opened gifts where we each gave the other something to do with paper.  It was not planned, but I thought it was sweet that we were thinking along the same lines.

Below are some photos from our wedding day!

Photo Credit: Kristen Nicole

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Good News

Another reason why I was fairly focused on thoughts about possible future children this past fall is because I had surgery in October on my uterus.  I didn't write about it at the time because I can be a private person, but also I can sometimes be a little avoidant when coping.  In this case it was a healthy coping because I didn't want to think about the surgery too much before it happened and then freak myself out.  Healthy la-la land was good for me by keeping busy with house projects and checking out my new running app.  So, I was not overly stressed leading up to or on the day of surgery.

I was also really glad that Tal was able to take off from work that day.  Part of me really wanted my dad to be there.  I'm a daddy's girl.  What can I say?  But, being that Tal is a nurse, I was in good hands.  Plus, he is a recovery room nurse, so he was in his wheelhouse so to speak.  However, I am thankful that I could share all of these feelings with Tal and he was kind, understanding and sensitive about it.

Just before my annual exam in the early summer, I had a few instances of some bleeding between periods.  Turns out, I had a small polyp that needed to be removed.  All went smoothly and the lab work came back with no worries.  During my follow-up appointment, my doctor was very positive and said that my uterus and ovaries looked great.  She gave the clear to start trying to have a baby.  The news really gave me peace of mind.  Things look healthy all up in there.  Then a few weeks later my regular doctor said my thyroid levels looked good with my annual screening for that.  More good news, which is also surprising given how the levels looked when I was in Florida.

Not to be cliche, but if it is meant to happen, it is meant to happen.  It appears my body is in fairly good shape for where I'm at in life to be trying for a baby.  I'll take that!  Right now in this moment, I feel very content and at ease.  I hope this feeling carries with me into 2017.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dark Side Before Venturing into TTC

Okay, I've been avoiding my blog.  There has been something on my mind and I have been afraid to write about it.

First, with open enrollment at work for healthcare choices and tax savings accounts, it has gotten me thinking about how to afford a child while paying for daycare.  Staying home is not a very likely option.  Family is far way, so we cannot ask my parents to help out a few days a week.  The cost of daycare scares me, let alone getting a child into one after hearing horror stories of wait lists and non-refundable wait list costs, some that you still have to pay even if the daycare center does not eventually have an opening.  Let alone the rules.  We would only need part-time daycare as Tal and I work different shifts and my schedule rotates.  During the week, we would need about three days for four or five hours each.  But some places require that you pay for all five days.  Would we be lucky enough to find a daycare or private daycare provider who would be okay with a rotating schedule?  I know I'm putting the cart way before the horse.  But, you have to have some kind of plan before you try to have a child.  Or at least me.

Those worries led to worries about quantity and quality of time with a possible future child.  Working second shift makes it tricky.  But, there are other people who work second shift and have families.  It is doable.  Right?  I really like my job and I feel like it is a good fit.  That is also important.  Right?  Then, I'd feel guilty if I would not be spending enough time with a possible future child.  Would I be being selfish having a child and working the hours I'm working?  I think it could work and be okay for the first few years before they would go to school.  By then maybe there could be an opening for a position with more nine to five?  A lot can change.

Also, I guess part of me is somewhat grieving the loss of not being able to stay home to raise my child.  I always wanted that, more so than anything else.  As a little girl, the first thing I wanted to be was a mom.  People laughed at me or would tell me that was not what I really wanted to be.  I loved my mom and felt so loved by her that I wanted to be a mommy and take care of a child so they could feel as loved as I felt as a little girl.  As I realized that "mom" wasn't the answer people were looking for, I expanded my list to include teacher, ballerina and artist.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea of those, too. But, after I would say those things, I'd secretly tell myself..."and a mom."

So with lots of hard thinking about how to puzzle it all out with the logistics of having a child and making time to spend with a child, it got me thinking some more.  This is where the darkest question and fear loomed.  What if after all of this, if we had a child, what if we regretted it??  What if parenting was harder than we thought, like really harder than we thought?

Ugh.  I don't even want to admit that question crossed my mind.  It makes me feel like a horrible person.  Does it make me less deserving to be a parent?

I just don't want to screw it up.  I am afraid of being so stressed out that I will be a terrible mom, wife or person.  I do not want to lose me.  I do not want to be totally consumed by parenthood.  Life would change, no doubt.  Priorities would rightfully shift.  How do people do it?

With all of these thoughts running in my mind, I came across a blog from Mel's Friday Round-up.  Actually, it was part of the second helpings.

My response to "Women Who Wish They'd Never Had Kids" and "Why Parents Hate Parenting," by The Unexpected Trip

That blog and links within it led down a wormhole of some very raw, very hard realizations and insights shared by those who do regret having a child.  It is so sad, and my heart feels for those who have disclosed some very dark thoughts.  I don't want to be one of those of those that is completely overwhelmed by parenthood or bitter or resentful.  No, so sad.  I do not want to judge people and I guess it is good for them to have an outlet to express themselves, but still sad.  As the author of the post that reflects on all of these links about parenting, maybe it is healthy for parents to have space to process feelings, all feelings, as a way to heal and carry forward.

How do people do it?  Maybe I am thinking too much.  I just don't want to be holding the experience of parenthood up to wildly, impossible standards then have it all come crashing down.

Then this post popped up on my Facebook feed.

10 Dark Parenting Truths We Never Talk About, by Kristen Oganowski

And while the author tackled some of the dark sides of parenting, she somehow made it less scary.  There are truths in her words.  And it is what it is, but real and with love.  Life with or without children, is different...not better or worse, but different.