You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Month: April 2012

Two birthdays

This past Wednesday my nephew turned 1.

Today my dad turned 74.

Seventy. Four.

In celebration of both their birthdays we all met downtown at Lincoln Park Zoo.


We ate lunch, saw animals, acted like animals…


turned into super heroes….

And basked in the glory of the brisk spring weather and each others company.

My dad’s birthdays are always kind of hard on me mentally, especially since he had his stroke last year. I love him so incredibly much and it’s hard for me to accept the fact that he’s getting older. It’s hard for me to not view each birthday as one step closer to losing him.

I hate that those thoughts creep in. Birthdays are supposed to be happy. They are supposed to be a celebration of life. It’s easy to celebrate life when that life is so fresh. My nephew is such a sharp contrast, just turning one. He has so much life ahead of him and it’s exciting to imagine what it will be like.

It’s harder to purely celebrate when you know the life has more years behind it than in front. I don’t want to think like that but it hangs over me like a shadow.

Today, instead of letting those thoughts consume me, I fought to stay in the moment. Because today had so many special moments. Maybe made even more special because of the bitter-sweetness in them.

I will not let the fear of the future spoil the potential happiness I have today. Today I celebrate my dad. My funny, stubborn, loving, outgoing, wonderful dad.

Six years

Six years.


That’s how long Joel and I have been married, as of today.

If our marriage was a human it would be getting ready to go to first grade this fall.

It’s amazing to me how much we’ve done and seen and grown in those years.

We’ve moved five times. We’ve both changed jobs more than once. We’ve visited five continents together. We adopted and have raised a pretty freaking awesome little dog who just turned three. We’ve driven from one end of the country to the other. We’ve visited twenty seven of the fifty states together.

We’ve fought and yelled and cried. We’ve very nearly called it quits. More than once. We’ve gone through the utter elation of expectant parenthood only to be crushed by losing the pregnancy.

I’m so glad we fought for our marriage and made it through the dark times though because they made us so much stronger.

Far outnumbering the downs there have been so many more times that we’ve joked and been silly and laughed till our stomachs hurt and tears were running down our faces.

I can be completely and totally myself around him. Whether myself at the time means talking in crazy cartoon voices at the dog, being a raging lunatic who needs chocolate right this second, or just really wanting to cuddle, he takes it in stride.

I have never known anyone so well.  In the car today all he had to say was “Is this going to be like the time when…” and I could already say yes because I knew the end of the question. Yep, we have officially turned into that annoying couple that finishes each others sentences.

He is truly my best friend. He is an amazing lover. He is brilliant and creative. Every time I see him around kids I can see what an incredible daddy he will be someday. He treats me like a queen and rarely asks for anything in return.

I am not the same person I was when I said I do six years ago. Joel is very different as well. The best part of marriage is making that journey to a new a better version of yourself with someone you love at your side. Life is one big adventure and I couldn’t have picked a better companion to share the journey with me.

Six years down and I look forward to at least sixty six more.

All clear

I visited my doctor for the follow up on my D&C. Everything is normal and we now have the all clear to resume, ahem, martial relations.

Side of TMI: Five weeks is hella long to not have sex, especially after enjoying a couple months of protection and worry free married fun.

Anyway, he showed me the results from the tissue they removed and it was confirmed there were genetic abnormalities. He made sure to emphasize that it means nothing I did or didn’t do caused it and that it’s very common to have have healthy pregnancies after this kind of loss.

And, even though it was only (my word, not his) my first loss, he told me to call the minute I think I’m pregnant again and that we’ll do extra blood work and a very early ultrasound to make sure things are going well.

I love my doctor.

From what I understand up to three miscarriages in a row are considered normal. Three. Apparently some doctors don’t start any extra tests or anything before a third loss. That just blows my mind. Thankfully I have good insurance and a doctor who is very compassionate and seems to want to put my mind at ease.

The next pregnancy will still be nervewracking but at least I’ll know that everything possible is being done to make sure there is a better outcome.

So that’s my happy news for the day. I don’t know if Joel and I will decide to start trying again right away or if we’ll wait a little while still. At least I know that I’ll have extra assurances once we get those two little lines again.

A clean start

I’m so happy to put March behind me. The whole month was pretty awful. Sure, there was some really unusually warm and beautiful weather. (80+ in Chicago in March? What planet is this?) But I was too busy trying to resist the urge to dig a hole and crawl in it forever to really enjoy the weather.

About halfway through the month though, when I stopped being sure I’d never feel happiness again, I started a purge of the junk and clutter in our home.

I am a pack rat. I come by it naturally. My dad keeps everything. Old magazines with articles he wants to read, church bulletins, broken things that he could fix. He was even telling me he has old ration stamps back from WWII. No lie.

A combination of those tendencies of mine, a small one bedroom apartment with a serious lack of closet space and sheer laziness led to an embarrassing amount of clutter in our house and garage. And one day, for seemingly no reason at all, I had enough.

Joel and I spent all day on St. Patrick’s Day cleaning out our garage. We threw out a ton of stuff, donated a decent amount of other stuff and then made sure that what we were keeping was neatly in labeled boxes. Then, over the last couple of weeks, I tackled the apartment.

Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that our apartment or garage was Hoarders-worthy. I didn’t work hard on it all day every day the last couple of weeks. But little by little I sorted and organized and last night I realized our apartment is actually clean and organized for the first time in… ever?

There is still a lot of stuff. I will always hold strong emotional value to objects, it’s just in my DNA. I really think that’s okay. However now a bunch of my favorite photos are in frames and hung or displayed. The treasures I’ve picked up on my travels are out on shelves where I can be reminded of the trip on which I bought them. My books are in neat lines on the shelves instead of crammed on top of each other.

But I feel like it’s clean. I feel relaxed in my house instead of guilty that I’m not cleaning. I know where everything is if I need it.

Everything isn’t fixed with a clean house. But it sure is a great start and I hope that it’s an indication that this month will only get better.

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