Monday, March 30, 2009

For the ladies

I open this post with the following:
To which I can only ask, who in the HELL has that much time on their hands and is that weird? I mean, seriously who sits around and says 'you know, my OBs could use a koozy'. And what, are you supposed to put the entire thing up in your business???

But I digress...

The anniversary weeked was stupendous! Friday night we just hung out because I even though I was feeling better I didn't want to push it. Saturday morning, we went to the cooking class. I was a little bit disappointed because I thought we'd get to do more cooking but the food was amazingly wonderful so it's probably just as well that they didn't let me back there. We did get to spend some time in the kitchen before we were ushered to our seats to begin eating the wonderful creations the master chef had prepared. Once again, I didn't get any pictures save these two. The first is one of the dishes the chef prepared. It was kobe beef that I didn't eat because one bite just about had me spitting it into my napkin - I gave it to Drew. It was gorgeous though! The second is him saying 'What are you doing? It's cooooold!' We'd had a weird cold snap come through and we weren't properly dressed, but I wanted a picture dammit. Drew struck up a conversation with the guy across from us and it turns out that his wife was the chair of the Texas Ballet. I love the ballet and this guy makes a call to his wife and got us tickets for the matinee the next day! I was so excited! After the cooking class, we went wandering around furniture stores looking for stuff for the house. The sellers agreed to fix all the stuff the inspection found so fingers crossed, we'll have it by the end of April!

Early Sunday morning I awoke from a dead sleep by a familiar twinge. The dessert from Saturday had cheese; I knew it had cheese and I know I can't digest dairy but did I eat that whole thing? Hell yes I did! Did my stomach pay for it the whole rest of the day? Hell yes it did! However, this twinge was a little lower - a few days early but unmistakable. I stumble to the bathroom and down a few pain pills so I can go back to sleep. (I was blessed with those pray-to-die kind of cramps. If I don't catch it early, I'm in bed the rest of the day.)

We get up later and Milton comes down to tell us about his drama last night and my period-brain goes completely blank about the fact that the majority of my clothes are still packed and scattered about the apartment. So, with only an hour to get dressed and leave the house, I realize that nothing is readily available to me. It was cold, I wanted my wrap - no clue what box it's in. Drew got me the most beautiful earrings that would go with the dress I wanted to wear - too much hassle to find the particular box, open it and dig for the earrings. The shoes I wanted were buried in some other box. All of these minor issues on their own but enhanced by that hazy red cloud of hormones, it was all I could do not to cry. We leave with not much time to spare and I'm not pretty because I don't have my wrap, earrings nor am I wearing the shoes I wanted to. I know I'm irrational and weepy, so I'm trying to keep it together.

I snap at Drew on the way there because I'm upset that I have to tell him that he needs to tell me I look pretty regardless. Poor guy - sorry baby! We get there with a few minutes to spare to see Cleopatra.
In my rush to leave the house I forget tampons, so at the intermission I go the bathroom to buy one. Of course I have no change, so I come back out to get change for a dollar. Back in the bathroom, the tampon machine doesn't work!!! Of course there are no other women in the restroom at that moment. Of course they start flashing the lights to go back to your seats. Of course now I have to pee. I had put some shorts under my dress to suck me in further because I felt fat and there I was in the stall wrestling with my tights, my shorts and my dress all with the dumb. lights. flashing!!! I wanted to just sit in the bathroom and cry. I barely get my tights and shorts up and my dress situated before running to get to our seats just as the lights dimmed.

I was able to take a few seconds to read the synopsis of the second act and was therefore really able to follow along with the rest of the ballet which made it all the more heart-wrenching. When it was over and we were driving home, I couldn't hold it in anymore. I burst out crying, probably cementing in Drew's mind that I am a full-out nutbag. I cried for Cleopatra, that she died and the ballerina who played her was exquisite. I cried for my baby cousin who I could totally see being a prima ballerina but who may never get that chance. I cried because we didn't get any pictures of us at the ballet. I cried for the earrings that I didn't get to wear to complete my outfit - seriously. Poor Drew was helpless, saying that talking might help. But I couldn't, because if I said out loud that I was crying because I couldn't wear my earrings, he'd surely have made a detour to the nearest loony bin.

We came home and I calmed down - I swear I hate feeling this way. I wish there was a way other than birth control to regulate mood swings. I pride myself on being relatively even-tempered and level-headed and I hate feeling like a weepy bag of mush one second, annoyed the next, and angry the next for no good reason.

We had Italian for dinner - noodles are my comfort food and Drew lost no time getting us to the nearest pasta place. We went in our 'new' neighborhood and afterward walked around the area. Since it was Sunday night, most of the boutiques were closed but it was nice out and our anniversary wasn't quite over. A ladybug even landed on him! We ended the night with no more tears thank heaven!

And now, on Monday I am back to normal - no mood swings, no stomach pain, no sore throat. Good as new!

To Cori: I humbly sumbit, my NuvaRing moment. *bowing deep*

Friday, March 27, 2009

Poppin pills

I love having friends who are doctors. Even though I'm very much into natural healing and natural remedies, I am not above a Tylenol when the occasion calls for it. I just have to be in agony to do it and last night definitely qualified. I normally drink 64 oz of water daily and I was hard-pressed to swallow even one mug of water all day. I only ate soup for lunch and dinner for the past three days and it was beyond painful to tolerate that. 
Finally, I called a friend of ours and asked him to call in a z-pack for me. My honey went out and got it for me and I popped both of them upon his return. I went straight to bed and woke up feeling a million times better. It was much easier to swallow and the body aches were almost gone! As the day draws to a close, the body aches have disappeared and I can swallow again like a normal human being! I still have a tiny headache when I cough but overall I'm feeling normal again. I do not understand hypochondriacs - who in the world would get pleasure from feeling ill? I know it's the attention they're after but gawd, there are better ways to go about it. This little three-day bout has me thanking my lucky stars that this is as bad as it usually gets. I've never broken a bone, never had major surgery, and I haven't stayed overnight in a hospital since I was a baby. **knocking on wood**

Best of all, I won't be sick for our anniversary! We're going to a cooking class at the same fabulous restaurant he took me to for my birthday. We get to work with the master chef and afterwards we're having a four-course lunch complete with wine pairings! I'm really excited but more so for Drew - he loves cooking and this is going to be heaven for him. After that we have a hockey game - he grew up playing hockey and we got tickets to several games this season. It's going to be a great day and I'm so happy that I'll feel well for it.

In addition, we're going to unpack most of the boxes in the apartment. Since we'll definitely be there for at least a month and the manager decided not to be silly and raise our rent $500, we'll stay. I'm glad about that - even though our friend (the doctor) was going to let us stay at his townhouse, I don't ever feel right imposing on other people. Of course, the funny thing is if any of my friends needed to stay in my house I would let them in a heartbeat. I'd give my friends the shirt off my back but would feel weird asking the same from them. At any rate, I'm glad we get to stay in our apartment and we can unpack our stuff. Living in boxes and suitcases is unsettling on a subconcious level. In some form or fashion, I think we all crave order and stability.

So we get to stay in our house, the anniversary is tomorrow, I'm feeling better and I'm wearing new jeans! I got them in Kansas - my body shape is different now and it's gotten difficult to find jeans that fit without having alterations. I just can't reconcile paying $80 or more for a pair of jeans and turning around and having to pay another $30 so they fit right! So when I found a pair that fit on the first try, I snatched them up! They're perfect and I don't have to do anything to them!

Not a bad start to the weekend, I'd say...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coughing, achy, fever, I just wanna rest!

I think I'm getting worse. Drew's mom knitted the most beautiful wrap for me for my birthday and I'm sitting at my desk with it wrapped around me, all pitiful-like. It's getting increasingly difficult to swallow and my body is so sore. I was in bed by 8p last night and while I woke up feeling a little better, going to work definitely did not help. However, I don't want to take any sick time because I've been gone quite a bit here lately. I was gone for a day at the beginning of March for my birthday, gone another day for my uncle's service, again at the end of April for Paris, and again for a day for Mother's Day weekend. I know these are all legit but it still makes me nervous. I'm not trying to be a hero but I've been here less than six months and I don't know how it will reflect on me.

The home inspection on the second house didn't pass muster. The inside of the house was breathtaking but the structural work (or lack of it) was a nightmare. We'd have to replace the roof, rewire some things, and I think there were some plumbing problems as well. My thing is, don't the sellers think they'll get found out? You have to have a home inspection and all that stuff will come out. Who really wants to spend an arm and a leg on a house only to turn around and spend the other arm and leg fixing structural problems? So we're turning our attention to...

the suburbs.

He showed me some houses today that were absolutely gorgeous and humongous! And for the exact same price as the cute little dollhouse that we were just looking at! I know you get more house for your money in the suburbs but I didn't know how much more! I couldn't believe the prices on some of the houses - I was sure it had to be a typo.

I'm not sure how I feel about living in the suburbs but I know how I feel about having a pretty house! It can't be all bad, right? I hope?

This home-buying business is a lot more involved than I ever thought it would be and I'm really surprised - it's a wonder anybody gets a house. You find one you like but the price isn't right. You find one with the right price, wrong area. Right price and area but you have to gut the place to make it livable. Honestly, I understand why people just start from scratch.

Ugh, I can't stand being sick...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm sick!

After driving eight hours, spending three emotionally draining days with my family, being around my sniffly baby cousin, getting very little sleep, and driving for eight more hours to go straight to work I don't feel good. My throat hurts, my body aches and I just want to go to sleep. I was in bed by 8:45p last night and I didn't even hear Drew come to bed. I'm not even sure I moved last night, if my stiff body this morning was any indicator. I can't stand being sick. Then again, I doubt anyone actually enjoys it.
On a more positive note, Drew and I will celebrate a year together this Saturday! Again, major milestone for me! I haven't ever had a solid year with a boyfriend - I usually get too impatient and break up with them at least once before the one year mark. I'm so proud of the progress I've made - each day I feel more and more like a bona fide grownup! It's not perfect and I know I have a ways to go but every now and then it's encouraging to see how far I've come.

My turning point was truly realizing that the only person I can change is myself. It sounds basic and common sense but I fought so hard and for so long to get others to change so that I could avoid looking in the mirror and confronting my shortcomings. It took a lot of guts to do that and I didn't have the courage until recently. As I've said before, I believe Drew is my reward for that hard work. I've grown so self-aware and have gotten quite comfortable in my skin and I've found a peace that I didn't know I could have. I only wish that I could impart that peace to my loved ones - my family still looks outside themselves for a solution and are still very quick to blame instead of take responsibility. I know that's our human nature, but it's so debilitating. I love that scene from Girl, Interrupted where Winona Ryder gets thrown in the tub and she screams 'Get me out of here!' Then Whoopi Goldberg calmly responds, 'Get yourself out'. If only they could say, 'I got myself into this, I'm going to get myself out'. But, I can only pray that it happens one day. Change won't stick until it comes from within. That's the hardest thing about family - you want to do for them and help them but the second you go away, it goes right back to the way it was before.

I say all that to say that my relationship pattern didn't turn around for me until I took a hard look at myself and took responsibility for what the toxicity I was contributing and simply stopped doing it. However, it doesn't always turn out well - when I stopped engaging my father and getting into screaming matches with him, he stopped talking to me altogether. You can't fight with someone who refuses to fight and I guess he likes to fight more. As a result, I feel a lot more peaceful and confident and I'm much happier. There are just those moments that I wish that this peace didn't have such a high price. I still pray that things will resolve in time - before it's too late.

I can't wait to go home and wrap up in a blanket - I have the chills. :-(

I'll leave with some gratuitous kid pics. My cousins are the cutest! trying on my shoes

The outfit I got her for the service - she had a little white sweater that went with it and she looked so cute! Of course, I'm biased...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back at it

I've tried five times to properly begin this post and each time I delete it and start over. What sort of commentary does death deserve? How do you record your feelings without sounding trite or callous? I'm not sure.

I drove all night Friday and arrived in KC around 3:30a. I collapsed in the bed at my best friend's house and slept till noon. My intent was to go to my parent's house and simply sit with my mom. I was going to go to the grocery store and cook some of the easy dishes I had seen Drew make so she wouldn't have to worry about it. I intended to do the laundry and basically take care of her in this time. It's my duty as a daughter and I was prepared. Then my mom called and told me to stay at my best friend's, that she would pick me up from there. I knew what that meant - my father told her I wasn't welcome and if she wanted to see me, she'd have to come to me. When I got off the phone with my mom, I cursed creatively to my best friend and her fiance so I wouldn't unload on my mom. I'm so disappointed with my father - of all the times to act like a child, the weekend of my uncle's funeral is not the one. However, I got it all out and by the time she got there I was fully present and ready to be there for her.

We went to my aunt's house to check on her only to find that she's not dealing well with any of this - I'm really worried about her. We picked up my 4-year-old cousin and went to meet my brother for lunch while My aunt stayed at the house. While my cousin is a total cutie pie, my brother was another story altogether. We've always had a tenous relationship - he's very high-strung and the littlest thing sends him into a fit. Just when I think we're ok, something I do/don't do or say/don't say sets him off, we fight, and we don't speak for months at a time. The last one was when I wasn't 'emotional' enough to suit him. So, there was bickering at lunch but I ignored him for the most part, concentrating on my cousin.

I spent Saturday through Monday with my family, pretty much non-stop. With this being such an emotional time, everyone was raw and a bit on edge. By Monday night, I had reached my emotional limit. I didn't want to see any more suffering, bear witness to any more sniping, and listen to one more person talk smack about the people who weren't there and couldn't come. There was so much pain and negativity, I was physically exhausted trying to deflect and diffuse it. Why wouldn't you choose to reminisce about the positive things about the departed? I didn't realize how much I had changed until I came back to KC and experienced my family raw and uncut. I found myself wanting to come back to Dallas and only visit again when everyone was back on their best behavior. I only wanted to sit in my mother's kitchen, just the two of us and hold her hand while she cried, not plant myself in the middle of the hurricane. I was overloaded.

My other spot of discomfort came from the fact that I didn't know my uncle that well. When my parents got married, her family essentially disowned her. I have over time, grown extremely close with my aunt's kids but not my uncle's. He was adamant that his family remain isolated from ours, therefore it was a bit awkward to express my sympathies to my cousins, essentially strangers, about their father knowing our family (and fathers') history. However, I will say that one of his kids was extremely open and genuine and I look forward to fostering a relationship with him and hopefully in turn with his siblings. Time heals all wounds right?

I never saw or spoke to my father and barely said two words to my brother. I remember happier times, when my family was intact, when we operated as a team. Now we've gone our separate ways, and I'm forced to wait in the driveway of the house I grew up in like a disrespectful date while my mother changes her clothes. When did this happen? Why? Can it be fixed? Or does it become the plot of some cheesy made-for-tv movie? Daughter has breakdown at father's deathbed after not speaking for years - 'Daddy, I hate you, I love you, I'm sorry!' The thought makes me sad.

At any rate, I was unable to use my sick time so after three very emotionally draining days in KC I had to get in the car Monday night and drive back to Dallas to go back to work.

Sidebar: I took a 5-hour energy drink because I was afraid of getting sleepy. It worked exceedingly well - so well that I got in at 9 and immediately got in the shower and was at my desk by 10:15. Of course, now I'm fighting to keep my eyes open and I want nothing more than to lay on the sofa and sleep the moment I get home. I'm a little shaky too - I don't do coffee or energy drinks so this one majorly affected me. It was a bit odd being wide awake at four in the morning after a two hour nap but at least I made it home safely. As I type, I feel myself slipping fast. Three more hours...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Going home

My uncle passed yesterday around 5p - my brother called and told me it was done. Unfortunately, it was pretty traumatic for all involved. My brother said it took about 30 minutes - everyone got to be at his bedside and I'm sure those were the longest 30 minutes in existence. He said my mom had to leave because it got to be too much, but he stayed till the end. My heart goes out to him - he was really young when my grandmother died and I'm pretty sure he's never been at anyone's deathbed. I know I haven't and I can only imagine the intensity of that moment. I'm not sure if I'd be able to handle it. He said he could feel it when my uncle left.

My poor mom, she called a little bit after my brother did and she was really broken up - I nearly started crying just hearing her voice. I'm leaving today after work, which means I won't get to KC til two in the morning or something like that. I wish I didn't even have to come to work today but with only three days of sick time I want to use them next week for the services.

I'm so thankful his kids are all married - I couldn't imagine having to go through it without the support of a spouse or significant other. I'm thankful I have Drew - even though there isn't much he can do, he's there with the hugs for me and that's plenty. His mom even called and expressed her sympathy - he has such a good family. I'm so thankful for them.

I'm staying with my best friend - we decided that staying with her would eliminate the majority of opportunities for my dad to be a punk and thus cause less stress for my mom. I'll just be with her from sunup to sundown and sleep over at my best friend's. My brother said my dad didn't say much and wasn't really 'there', but then again that's pretty much what I expect from him. It's nice to know he doesn't disappoint.

Anyway, if you follow or happen across my blog please say a prayer for my mom and my family.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sad news

My uncle had a heart attack last Monday and the prognosis wasn't good. My mom called earlier this afternoon and told me they were going to take him off the ventilator at 3p. She was crying and I feel so bad for her - for all our fighting and disagreeing I couldn't imagine losing my brother. He's not dealing with it well - yesterday he ripped me a new one for not being upset enough about this. I understand that he's hurting and wants me to feel the same way - this all just sucks.

I'm just sitting at my desk wondering what's happening right now. Is he gone? Was it peaceful? Is he still hanging on or struggling in any way? When people are taken off ventilators they can hang on for days at a time. I hope that whatever the case is, he's not suffering - I hope they've doped him up so he doesn't feel anything.

It's times like this that I really feel the distance from my family. I wish I could just drive over to my mom's house after work and just sit with her. As it is, I'm trying to decide when is the best time for me to get in the car and drive up there. I only have three days of sick time built up and I don't even know if I'm allowed to take for circumstances like this. I don't know why I wouldn't be able to, but of course you don't ask things like that in the interview.

The other thing is whether or not I'll be able to stay in the house if I do go up there. I haven't spoken to my dad since July of last year and I don't know if he'll be a decent human being and allow me to be with my mom or if he'll be stubborn and not let me stay in the house. And of course thinking about my uncle makes me think about my dad. It would so suck if something were to happen to him and we never got a chance to mend our fences. He's so stubborn, he believes he's right and would go to his grave thinking that and that would be just awful.

Death always makes you look at your life and how you're living it - but at the same time no one has the energy or resources to live every day like it was their last. As much as I'd love to make up with my dad, he doesn't see things the same way. But, all I can do is pray that one day it gets resolved before it comes down to a deathbed situation.

My poor mommy...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So far so good

I'm rather encouraged by my teeny bit of fitness progress. For three days now, I've been able to get up and have a morning workout. Yesterday, I was a little tired around 3p but I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I was bored out of my mind at work! This morning we got up a little bit later (6a) and that seemed to work. I had time to have a decent little workout and even eat breakfast! I'm sorry if that sounds really mundane, but these are things I practically never do so I'm totally childlike in my wonder!

Now for the latest in the house saga - Sunday we went driving around to look at single family homes in areas we could see ourselves living. In driving through a particular neighborhood, we noticed a really cute house that was open. With no real agenda, we stopped to check it out - I guess Sundays are big for open houses. Anyway, we walked into this house and it was amazing! We wouldn't have to do anything to it. They had taken really good care of the house and it was totally our style and I was really excited about it. We had been looking for a house that would 'blow my skirt up' and this was it! Without being too obvious, we went outside and called our realtor right then. Luckily, he had some free time and was able to come over right away. He loved the house too! So as I type this, he and Drew and putting together the papers for the initial offer. There are still some hoops to jump through but not nearly as many as with the townhouse - apparently single family homes are easier to finance than townhouses. I don't know the particulars - I know I should but when they start talking real estate and lenders and mortgages my head starts to hurt.

We're leaving the apartment at the end of this month - it's been really difficult living out of boxes and I'm so thankful we'll have a measure of normalcy soon. A friend of ours has graciously allowed us to use the bottom floor of his (totally awesome) townhouse for the month of April and if all goes well we could be in the house by May. I'm praying so hard for this one - this house is absolutely perfect for us! The neighborhood is just wonderful, it's close to the city and there's a yoga studio less than two miles away! I'm trying not to let my hopes get too high just in case, but I really like this house.

In other news, I'm learning how to compromise! It definitely does not come naturally and is a difficult learned skill. I think I'm more selfish than most - ok, I know I'm more selfish than most. I have the hardest time 'giving in'. Drew has been wanting a dog for the longest time and I have been adamantly opposed. I didn't grow up with an animal so I'm not accustomed to them at all. However, after much discussion, we came to an agreement (yea us!). If we had a fenced-in yard, and I can get a tattoo (he dislikes them as much as I dislike dogs, and I love them as much as he loves dogs), then we can get a dog. He agreed! I'm so excited - I've been wanting another one since forever, but because he doesn't like them, I haven't done it. But we reached a compromise! And I wasn't even scheming - I just thought about ways that we can both be happy about this. A tattoo would make me happy and they're about as permanent as a dog in our lives, so I think that's a good balance.

See, I'm learning about this relationship stuff!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What have I done?

Last week I got a group email informing us about a stair-a-thon. My building (right) has 53 floors and they're having a stairclimb for the American Lung Association. I thought it would be a really cool thing to do and a way to get to know the other people in my office. So my overenthusiastic self responds to this group email asking who wants to form a corporate team!?!? I got some response from it, so now I think I'm in. What have I gotten myself into?

I'm no runner - I'm a yogini. I don't push my body, nor do I punish it. However, I'm great with the breath and I've got huge thighs and big fat backside so I should have no problem climbing a bunch of stairs, right? Of course, 53 flights of stairs is a bit different from 10 or so steps that I would normally take if I were 'taking the stairs'. But I'm really excited about this! I've never done anything like it before, it's for a good cause and it's going to feel so great when I make it to the top. Now, I have no intentions of running the stairs, all I want to do is get to the top without having a heart attack!

So this morning, I started my training (cue Rocky music). We got up at 5:20a which more than an hour and a half before I would normally even think about waking up most normal mornings. Drew and I took the elevator to the second floor and starting our climb to the 21st floor. He took off running while I stayed behind, slow and steady. This being my first time, I just wanted to see if I could do it without passing out. I made it to the 16th floor before I started breathing hard, which became painful because the stairwell was cold and I was sucking in that cold air - my throat is still a little tingly.

After that, we went down to the gym and I got on the stair machine - the one with the rotating stairs. That thing is evil - I couldn't even do it ten minutes! I knew I had reached my limit and I sat on the floor waiting for Drew to finish the stair-stepper machine. Then, we went over to the mat to do some abs - this was a piece of cake compared to that machine! My thighs were shaking so badly I was glad I was already laying down. While Drew did all his abs, I mainly laid on the floor listening to my iPod. I love my music - I usually put it on shuffle and it's like listening to the best radio station ever!

We finally came upstairs around 6:40 and while Drew was in the shower, I made our lunches and bopped around to my songs. At 7a, when I'm usually just waking up, I was in the shower getting ready for the day. So it's almost 1:30 and I haven't crashed yet, which is suprising. I thought I'd be crashed out by 11a - I honestly feel pretty good. But just like I told Drew, it's only the first day. We'll see how I'm doing at the end of the week.

The stair-a-thon is May 16 - far enough away that I can get ready for it, but not so far that I feel like it'll never get here. I'm pretty excited and I think it will be a lot of fun! Stay tuned y'all!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby steps

Oh how I love payday! Oh how I love direct deposit! I came in this morning to a wonderfully swollen bank account and I commenced to payin some bills!

I have just about everything on online bill pay so it's become quite easy to get everything taken care of. Perhaps a little too easy - I blindly paid one of my credit cards for god knows how long before realizing I was getting charged for some credit protection service that I didn't even remember signing up for. I only noticed when it didn't seem that the balance was getting that much smaller and I discovered the error. It was totally my fault, I should have checked the account activity and I'm thankful that I did eventually catch it and stopped that with a quickness!

Anyway, I'm halfway to paying off another bill! I'm so excited about it and I'm all about this bill paying thing now. :-) In addition to that, I got my taxes done last night and now I have Paris money! I was really concerned that I'd have to juggle my paycheck and try to squeeze a few pennies out for shopping and sight-seeing but now with my return I won't have to alter anything and I'll continue to be able to pay things off.

I tend to sit at my desk all day planning my budget since I know what my paycheck is now - I play games with myself, seeing if I put this much on a bill, I'll pay it off by this date, but if I put THIS much on it, I could pay it off sooner! I'm quite bored at work sometimes...

This is just such an accomplishment for me and I'm kind of giddy - I even have some money left over until next payday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apple Cider Vinegar

Since taking up yoga almost nine years ago and becoming a yoga instructor last year, I've become very health concious. I have also become extremely healthy - I used to get the flu, shot or not, every other New Year's. I vividly remember 2000, being a flight attendant on a layover in Phoenix, sitting in the hotel room watching the millenium on tv with a bottle of Gatorade in one arm and a box of kleenex in the other. The next day I had a 36-hour layover in San Francisco and I slept the entire time.

However, I rarely get sick anymore. I only have aches and pains if I haven't gone to yoga, and that's only because I can feel my body getting stiff again. It's a myth that you should take days off from exercise. People think that because when they do work out, they are usually punishing their bodies, pushing them beyond their limits, not listening when the body says to stop. Those people wake up the next day so sore they can't move and that's why they usually take a day off, unless they head back to the gym for more punishment and to beat their body into submission. Of course, that's where cramps and torn muscles happen - that's your body demanding that you stop whatever the heck it is you're doing.

But gentle physical activity (like yoga) where you honor the body and its limits can be safely done every single day and you're usually better for it. I have never felt better or healthier in my life!

Earlier this year I was on earthclinic where they have all kinds of natural remedies for what ails you and I came across apple cider vinegar. It's supposed to be a great remedy for just about everything but what caught my eye is that it's good for acne. I have suffered from hormonal acne since I was 28, which is a major drag because I never had skin problems when I was young so I never really learned how to take care of my skin. When my face exploded, I had no idea what to do. I tried everything from drugstore to expensive to prescription. All worked for a little bit but then I just ended up breaking out again. It's horrible for the self-esteem and finally I gave up and got on birth control. My skin cleared up but I always hated the idea of hormones in my body and wanted nothing more than to get off. When we decided that I would finally stop in December, I had a panic attack, knowing the skin explosion was coming and wondered how my boyfriend was going to react when my face was no longer clear.

Enter apple cider vinegar! A dash in my water bottle at work every day has cleared up my skin and kept it clear like no other expensive or cheap product ever has! I've used the Heinz and the organic and both work the exact same; I only break out when I don't do it and as soon as I start again, my face clears up! It's like magic!

The first time was hard, as drinking vinegar is incredibly unappealing - but I'll do anything for clear skin! After a while you get used to the taste, but if you don't you can add honey to the mix. Honey is a great antibacterial and you can put it straight on a pimple at night, cover it and by morning it's gone! The acidity in the vinegar balances me out on the inside and my clear skin is a testament to that. I still have some scarring from some particularly stubborn ones, but even those have faded and I don't mind going without makeup anymore.

I thought I would share because dealing with bad skin is so horrible and if I could help just one person that would be so cool!

Now, it has to be apple cider vinegar and don't drink it straight - you'll burn the crap out of your throat. I got a bit of a sore throat because I was putting too much in my water. I got excited - I thought if a dash was working, more would be even better. Nope - stick to a tablespoon or less in 16 oz. of water. I put a dash in my 32 oz. water bottle and sip on it all day. My skin is amazing and I love it!

Peace and cookies y'all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Round Two!

The townhouse didn't happen - letting it go was difficult for all involved for various reasons but the whole experience has taught me so much. I just wish that the best lessons weren't the hardest to learn. However, that's why they call it blood sweat and tears right?

Anyway, we've shifted our focus to single family homes and I just finished looking through a sea of home listings in preparation to trek around Dallas this weekend. We've unpacked a few essentials and the house is still in pieces but I have faith that this time it's going to work out!

I spent the weekend with my best friend in KC and it was like a part of me exhaled, which is funny because we didn't stop talking for two days straight! So often, when I'm going through things I feel like I'm the only one on the planet who is struggling, that everyone else is getting it right and I'm just out there. It was soooo nice to lay it on the table and to have my best friend in the world go, 'I'm right there with you'. Just knowing that I'm not the only one who is bumbling through is so comforting. She was able to offer some much-needed perspective on things in a way that's pretty much impossible when you're knee-deep, you know? I love my best friend!

Funny story - as usual I threw things in a bag and ended up without the majority of the things I would need on a trip (toothpaste, deodorant, eye makeup remover) but I did manage to grab my conditioner! It was in a travel bottle and it was pretty old. I have a travel bag with my shower gel and lotion that I always have on standby. So, god knows what kind it was and how long it has been in the bottle. My best friend of course had conditioner but I didn't want to use it, knowing how much I use. I used the travel conditioner praying that my hair would come out halfway decent.

It came out amazing!!! No exaggeration, it looked the best it's looked since I started wearing it curly! Do I have any idea what kind of conditioner it was? Of course not!!!

Oh well. :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Drew and I are having troubles. If you stumble upon my blog or you follow it, please take a moment and pray for us. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

House update

At least now we have an answer. Drew heard from the bank today and the loan is 2% over the limit of what they'll consider so they won't do the loan. Our realtor is looking around for alternatives but it doesn't look good. I'm disappointed but at least we have an answer.

Of course now, we have to figure out what we're going to do next. I don't know if we're going to stay where we live now which will mean unpacking all the boxes and putting everything back where it was (major pain in the backside!) or if we'll look to move to another apartment for six months and try the house thing all over again.

This has been an incredibly eye-opening experience, both from the home-buying and relationship standpoint. I learned that when it concerns my future living situation it's best that I remain involved for all aspects. I wasn't on board with it to start so I stepped out and left it up to Drew. However, when things went wrong I demanded to know why and wanted all the details, which isn't fair. I will definitely do that differently the next time around. You can't complain if you don't participate.

I'm not entirely sure what will happen next - we're going to talk about it tonight and I hope we'll find some kind of resolution soon. I'm going back to KC this weekend and I want something planned by the time I come back - I don't do well with limbo when it comes to the roof over my head.

*sigh* I really don't want to unpack everything...

Monday, March 2, 2009


Funny, I don't feel older...

Friday, I was feeling sorry for myself because we still don't have the house and it's been consuming our thoughts and free time. Unfortunately, we haven't dealt all that well with the stress and Drew and I have been bickering. So I was chatting with him on gmail Friday when he asked me if I could take some days off in April. I asked why and he said it was a suprise. I figured we were going to New York to see his parents - he's been fussing with me for a while about going up there. I want to go, but it's an ordeal to get there. His town is so small that you have to fly to Montreal and drive three hours south to get there which usually takes about 24 hours. I had also said I'l like to take a long weekend to San Antonio and go on the Riverwalk - I'd heard it was a romantic spot. That's all I was thinking! He suggested that we go to dinner that night, since tonight we'll be moving our things out of the apartment. I said that was fine, even though that's not how I wanted to spend my birthday.

I walked home from work, figuring this birthday would just be a wash and we'll just try again next year. I walked in the door and he's at the computer. I say 'hi' all pitiful-like and he gets up from the computer to come over to me.

Him: Did you look at the link I sent you for the restaurant?
Me: Sort of. It looked fancy and expensive.
Him: Well, it's a French restaurant.
Me: Ok.
Him: Well, I thought it could be a theme for your birthday.
Me: What?
Him: (handing me a piece of paper) Happy Birthday baby!

This man got us a TRIP TO PARIS!!!!! I was freaking out!! It has been the dream of my life to go to Paris - I got a degree in it and everything! But because I went to school at 28 I couldn't afford to study abroad in the summer because I had to work. I had sort of resigned myself to never going or maybe going once I retired. I could not believe it! I was all sweating and crying and laughing! He's so awesome!

Then he took me out to the most amazing dinner of my life! It was one of those super fancy restaurants and I was so giddy from our trip that I couldn't stop smiling! We had a six course meal and when I tell you that everything was beyond amazing, that's an understatement. It was a beautiful restaurant with amazing food and I was blown away! I wish I could have taken more pictures but it was not that kind of restaurant!

Saturday, Sean and his girlfriend has us over to their house where they made us dinner - Milton's birthday is Feb. 29th and mine is the 2nd, so it was sort of a co-birthday. We had homemade spaghetti and meatballs and we totally slobbed out - that's why I look like a crazy! I'm mad that Drew didn't say anything to me about my hair, but oh well! My favorite part was our cake - Sean forgot candles so Derek went to his house and brought back some tealights for the cake! I could not stop laughing!

It turned out to be a wonderful birthday and we're going to Paris in April!! I can't believe it! Enjoy the pictures!

Blowing out the tealights

The cake was my favorite part!

Birthday dinner at Sean's

I was asleep by 11 - all the spaghetti and wine knocked me out!

The boys however, kept the party going!


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