Friday, June 29, 2012


We are ready for him.

 Crate.  Crate pad.  Bowls.  Leash.  Toys.  Chew Toy.  Puppy food (not pictured).

Cuddle buddies

A gift from my coworker's daughter.  She watches Taylor for us when we are out of town.

And a dog that has no idea what is going on...

{Why is this crate so small?}

But don't worry about her.  She's getting spoiled rotten in her last few days as an only "child". 

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  I would literally run around the street in circles if I didn't think it would get me arrested (for being crazy).  And if I get committed, I won't be able to pick up Cotton tomorrow, so I am restraining myself.

I've decided that puppy pictures and videos will most likely be taking over the blog for a while.  If you have a problem with that, then you are a weirdo.  Who doesn't like puppies?  Seriously.  I think you need to have your heart examined if puppies bother you.

Cotton... we are ready for you!

{such a gentleman.  Hint: that's not his belly button.}

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Academic Planner

For some reason, my planner at work is an academic planner.  It goes from July to June.  I don't know if the office manager was trying to tell me I need to go back to school, or what.  (just kidding, I know that isn't the case.)

I am at the end of the academic year.  And I made the lovely mistake of flipping through this last year via my planner. 

Notes about doctor's appointments.

Countdowns to our Thanksgiving trip that never happened because we were waiting for what would be bad biopsy results.

Dates for Lab Work.

Dates for surgeries.

Dates for follow-up appointments.

Notes on food to eat and not eat, when to start and stop thyroid medicine.

I have waited almost a year for this thyroid experience to be "over."  The truth is that it will never be "over."  The cancer is gone, hopefully forever.  But I will need check-ups, neck ultrasounds, blood tests, thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.  Hopefully that is the extent of my experience with thyroid cancer from this point out.  But I will never know.

Then I realized that I am so much stronger now than I was a year ago.  So so so so much stronger.

Just because this hard experience is over doesn't mean there won't be hard experiences ahead.  But I will get through them, just like I did this time.

There are some definite silver linings from this past year that became SUPER apparent to me as I was flipping through the planner:

1)  Phil and I have been through a rough couple of years.  And I KNOW that I can be myself, no matter what.  All my fears and my hopes are perfectly safe with him.  He might think I am crazy, but he doesn't show it.  Most marriages don't get to test out the "bad times" part of the vows until much later.  We did that already and I know the good times will be amazing.

2)  Each of my friends and family have shown a different type of support.  And now I know what that support looks like and how to ask for it.

3)  I am much more empathetic and vulnerable than I was before.  And while I don't like the way it had to happen, I think it was necessary and definitely a good thing.

Stupid planner.  It's just a stupid planner.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Like Reruns

For about the past 9 months or so, I haven't been able to watch new movies.  Or really new television.

Movies come out that I am dying to see... we really don't see many.  So when they come out on DVD, we buy them.  And then I still haven't watched them.

Books that I have wanted to read... I'm afraid to read them.  I tried to start reading The Book Thief, but when I realized (about the first page) that it was narrated by Death, I quickly tossed that book to the floor.  It will soon be finding itself at Goodwill I think.

I got a spotify account and have been listening to Disney music.  I find it comforting.

We watched a lot of stuff that I have already seen:

Gilmore Girls
Big Bang Theory
Friday Night Lights
Harry Potter
Couples Retreat
American President
The Patriot
The Good Wife
Old Seasons of Big Brother
Disney Movies

Or we watch a lot of crappy reality TV, which Phil is not such a fan of.

I just can't watch new stuff.  Phil finally got me to branch out and watch some Duck Dynasty.  But that was really only after he told me about most of the episodes.  And I did watch Big Love for a while there, but I always had the option of looking up what happened on wikipedia or IMDB.

I know this makes me sound like 20 kinds of crazy-pants. 

Phil and I were talking about it yesterday.  I think it is because the drama on movies and TV shows just freaks me out.  Life has been so complicated lately and full of drama... seeing how things could be even more dramatic just freaks me out.  Phil's response was, "But it isn't real.  It is fictional drama."

And he's right.  It is time to put on my big girl pants and branch out.

But not tonight... So You Think You Can Dance is on.  :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

IVF and Adoption

The other day, I saw a story on that the mother of the first IVF baby had died.  Basically, this woman had been trying to have a baby for 9 years and wasn't willing to give up.  She found two doctors that were willing to work with her and try some new things and IVF was born.  Because of her and her tenacity, thousands of babies have been brought into the world.

It was a lovely article and then I noticed there were several comments left by readers at the bottom of the page.  And that's when I saw these:

And the sad thing is... this isn't even all of the negative comments.  And people actually AGREED with them!!
For obvious reasons, these comments are very hurtful to Phil and I.  Not that it matters what a bunch of ignorant assholes jerks anonymously type on their computers while they live their disgusting judgemental lives.  But I think comments like these are part of the reason that infertility is so painful and still very hush-hush.

When you go month after month after month of not being able to get pregnant, you very fearfully begin to feel like there is something wrong with you.  After all, teenagers are able to get pregnant in the back of their cars during their first time having sex (just watch 16 and Pregnant).  Why can't I, an educated married woman who knows more about ovulation than some medical professionals (at this point), get myself knocked up?  The idea that Phil and I aren't "supposed" to have a biological baby has definitely crossed our minds.

Apparently it is because nature doesn't want me contributing to the gene pool?  There are a ton of hurtful and unworthy people that are able to get pregnant.  Osama bin Laden had a bunch of kids.  So did Warren Jeffs.  Child molesters and murderers have children.  Heck... people who kill their OWN CHILDREN can have kids.  Drug addicts have kids every day.  So nature has decided they can have kids, but I can't?  Yeah I don't think so.

Phil and I have talked about pregnancy and conception in depth at this point and because of his background in toxicology, he knows quite a bit about the biology and mechanics of fetal development.  It is nothing short of a miracle.  The tiniest change during embryo growth can cause a pregnancy to fail.  And having watched Braxton be born (as in Joanna let me in the room and now I've seen her lady parts), I don't think anyone can really say that child birth is anything other than miraculous.  That was seriously the coolest thing I have ever seen (the childbirth part, not Jo's who-ha).  Braxton wasn't an IVF baby, but any child coming into this world, no matter how it happens, isn't a mistake of nature.  The comment that there are people on this earth that "shouldn't be here" is ridiculous.  I bet if you asked those people who are a product of assisted reproductive treatments, they would say they are pretty excited about the creation of IVF.

As far as adoption goes... I am all for it.  I think Phil and I will adopt at some point.  We have talked about beginning the adoption process soon, but it doesn't feel like the right step for us.  Adoption is IN NO WAY an easy process.  Especially compared to natural conception or IVF.  Here's why:
- International adoption laws differ based on which country you are looking at.  Phil and I aren't old enough to adopt a child in some countries.  Not for at least 2 more years.  Or we haven't been married long enough.  Or we aren't citizens of that country.  And if we did find a country, it would still take at least 2 years to get assigned to a child.  And then like 6 months after that before the child would be home with us.  And we would have to make 2 separate trips (in most cases) to their home country: 1 for the legal adoption process and another to pick the child up.  Plus you have to do reports every year for that home country to let them know how the child is doing.
- Adoptions with the state require (almost always) that one of the parents stay at home full-time with the kids.  I own a business and Phil is getting his doctorate... I don't think being a stay at home parent (while a great choice for some people) is in the cards for us.
-  Private adoptions require you to agree to the terms of the birth parents who "choose" you and can change their minds for up to 6 months after the adoption is final.  Someone I know told me that Oregon is currently working on changing that aspect of the law.  But currently we could bring home a child and raise it for 6 months, only to have the birth parents change their mind and take the child back.  Honestly, I don't know if I could handle that.
-  Plus ALL adoptions require background checks, home visits, psychological exams, and financial checks before you can even start down the road to getting a child.  I KNOW that doesn't happen for natural child birth.
-  I also recently discovered that most adoption agencies really don't like to place a child with a parent who has had cancer.  So Phil and I are almost guaranteed to need a family lawyer in order to successfully go through the adoption process.
AND adoption is extremely expensive (more so than IVF), not to mention emotionally draining.
My point about all of this (as if any of you are still reading) is that people can be extremely hurtful when it comes to infertility.  I don't know how many times Phil and I have already heard "well if nothing else you can always adopt" as if that is an easy solution to the problem.  The truth is that there is no easy solution.  And what definitely doesn't help is when people who aren't in our shoes give their unsolicited and totally jackass opinion. 
I would never wish this experience on anyone.  When people are going through hard and stressful circumstances that are beyond their control whether it is infertility, cancer, money problems, loss, whatever... we as human beings need to step up to the plate and be supportive, not hurtful or judgemental.
If you don't believe in IVF, you don't have to do it.  But don't judge me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

It Feels Like Forever

After I posted THIS post the other day, I proceeded to have kind of a rough day.  It was a bit ironic.

My anxiety got the best of me.  I started thinking about my upcoming appointment with my endocrinologist.  She said some stuff last time that kind of freaked me out.  Basically one of my blood tests wasn't as low as she wanted it to be.  In reality, there's a perfectly good reason that it wasn't all that low.  And she even told me that after I started freaking out.  But that intital reaction stuck with me.

I started worrying about having to do more treatments for my thyroid cancer.  And how that would delay our ability to start trying for a baby even longer.

Phil was able to calm me down.  We went OVER AND OVER how my cancer was caught early and that I had done absolutely everything possible to get rid of all the cancer cells and that my scan had come back clean.  My poor husband got even closer to his husband saint-hood because we had to talk about this for A WHILE.

And then I began to feel like even if all my test came back clean, that it would be forever until we actually had a baby.  Sometimes, it feels like it will never happen.  I remember feeling the same about getting married.  It felt like something was going to go wrong and the wedding wouldn't actually happen.  To a certain extent, I think that is probably normal when it comes to gigantic life events.  They are so surreal, they feel impossible.  Finding out you have cancer is one of those experiences as well.

So as I voiced these feelings to Phil (that it felt like we would never have a child), his response was, "Of course you feel like it will never happen.  You can hardly wait 2 weeks to bring the puppy home... I bet 2 years does feel like forever."

Oh man he gets me.  :)

But here's the things... Cotton comes home with us Saturday (insert me jumping up and down in utter excitement).  And it always felt like that would never happen to (since it took two breeders, three litters, and puppies dying for us to get Cotton).

The cancer stuff will be fine.  And the baby will happen.  The same way it took a while for the puppy, it will take a while for the baby.  But it will happen.  The same way Cotton happened... all in good timing.

{My boys}

Breathe in... Breathe out... Be patient, Natalie.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What is happening to me?

My body used to be so predictable.  I knew exactly why things were happening.  Why my body felt a certain way.  How sleep really made me feel.  How much water I really needed to drink.  How caffeine affected me.  What caused headaches.  The number of days in my cycle and what PMS felt like.

It was glorious.  That kind of predictability was comforting and great.  Why was I cranky?  Probably because I hadn't eaten.  Why was I tired?  Because I only got 6 hours of sleep.  Why did I feel wired?  Probably the 2 cups of coffee.  How much water do I need to drink in a day?  A liter and a half was good.

I don't know crap about my body anymore.

Losing my thyroid to going hypothyroid, then to hyperthyroid, and finally (hopefully) settling on only mildly hyperthyroid has thrown my entire system out of whack.

My face is breaking out worse than it ever did in puberty. 

Days when I get little sleep, I feel fine. 

When I get get 8 hours, I'm exhausted. 

Coffee has NO AFFECT on me.  But I find I get very wired in the middle of the morning and afternoon for no good reason at all.

Apparently PMS now means I have cramps for A WEEK. 

I have this new form of cellulite that is disgusting and it magically goes away if I drink enough water.  My face also swells if I don't enough water.  However, it takes LITERS (like 3) to keep me from being dehydrated.  Do you know what it is like to drink 3 liters of water?  I'm pretty much either peeing or drinking water during the day. 

I'm hungry ALL THE TIME.  But I can get nauseous super easily.

Now that I have thoroughly complained, let me say that I am fine with all of this.  It is all still SO MUCH BETTER than being severely hypothyroid.  And it is totally worth it to not have cancer again.  I just need to adjust to it.  Figure out how much sleep I really need.  Find a face soap that works.  Use a heating pad for a week.  Carry snacks to go with the water bottle I have permanently glued to my side.  And make sure I am always near a toilet (or work on my squatting skills).

{Another picture of Cotton.  Has nothing to do with the post, but is too cute to not share.}

Thursday, June 21, 2012


A short and incomplete list of things I am grateful for today:

-  A job that I get better and better at each day.  On the job training... gotta love it.

-  A husband who stands in the kitchen and talks to me while I cook.  Sometimes, he'll provide the background music.

Lately he has been working a little later, so I don't get my dinner-makin' music.  But that's ok.  Even though he knows it is ok for him to work a little later, he always asks me if it is ok first.  Making me feel included.  :)

-  This little guy.

Only about 9 more "sleeps" until you are mine little man!

-  This good girl.

I'm sure everyone says this about their own dog, but she really is the BEST dog.  Not that she doesn't have her moments, but she is such a good girl.  She will be such a great big sister.
-  Iced Tea.

Made fresh every afternoon.  With 1 packet of Truvia.  Antioxidants can be so refreshing!  :)

-  Thyroid hormones.  Walgreen's apparently ran out of my Cytomel and were going to give me a partial refill.  It made me a little nervous.  And then a doctor told me that one of the reasons they might have run out is because doctors and some pshyciatrists are starting to prescribe small doses of Cytomel to help make their patients feel better (without actual thyroid reasons).  That made me mad.  Luckily (for everyone) Walgreen's was able to totally refill my prescription the next day.  Or I would have lost it.

There are so many more things to add to this list, but I think this will do for now.

*Please pray for Rachel.  She is having her full thyroidectomy I think RIGHT NOW.  I'm glad that I can provide her with support and a little information about thyroid cancer, the same way Grace did for me.  It's invaluable to talk to someone who has gone through exactly what you did.

So that's another thing I am grateful for.  See... I told you the list wasn't done.

Here's a couple more:

-  I'm grateful that my thyroid cancer treatment is OVER!  Hopefully I never have to deal with cancer again.

-  And I'm grateful for you guys!  Your comments yesterday were wonderful and super supportive.  Plus they were very interesting to read.  I really liked hearing your opinions and I felt like we had a nice little forum going.  :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Puppies are like babies

I'm still on a bit of a puppy high.  I have pictures of the puppy plastered almost everywhere I can.  My work computer screen.  My cubicle wall.  My phone wallpaper.  You may or not find me lovingly stroking my computer monitor in an effort to relive petting Cotton.

I am also contemplating going old-school and creating a paper chain to countdown the hours until we can bring him home.  And I would totally do it, if only I knew the exact details.  Phil sent out some e-mails for me yesterday to try and nail down some deets.  I would have sent out the e-mail myself, but it would have come out like this:


And since we don't want the breeders to think I am Mrs. Crazy-pants, Phil wrote the e-mail instead.

But I digress.  I did actually have a topic in mind for this post.  And that topic is... Why the crap are people such wet blankets?

Ever since we decided to get a puppy, people keep saying to me, "Puppies are so much work.  It's just like having a baby!  Why would you want to get a puppy?"

Ironically, all of those people have children.  Don't know what that tells you but we will leave it alone.

Did people not get the memo that I am infertile?  Or that my cancer was found because we were about to start fertility treatments?  Heck... if it had been up to me (to get pregnant, that is, which obviously it wasn't), I would have a 10 month old.  So obviously I am not afraid of a little responsibility.

You want to know if you are ready for responsibility?  Seriously think about whether or not you are willing to spend $15,000 to $20,000 just to maybe get pregnant.  If the answer is YES, then late night feedings isn't going to turn you away.

This is how desperate I am to nurture... I am excited to clean up dog pee and poop because it means I will have the puppy to cuddle with afterwards.  Wake up every 2 hours to let him outside?  SURE!!  When we are done, we can cuddle.  Wake up at 5:30 to walk the dogs before work?  What a great way to get in some exercise (for me and the dogs) while showing my pups some love.

And I showed a picture of the puppy to my uncle and his reply was, "Sure he's cute now.  But he's going to become a kid and then a teenager.  And he won't be so cute then."

Thanks a lot...  I love the support.  Is that what you told your son when he told you he and his girlfriend were having another baby?  I doubt it.  And he shouldn't!  You shouldn't criticize life decisions have already made.  It's not exactly supportive.

After 6 months of trying to have a baby with no luck, I told Phil that after a year of this I was either going to need a baby or a puppy.   After everything that has happened, a baby is likely off the table for another 2 years (a year after RAI plus time to adjust my medication plus regular ole pregnancy).  The idea of not having a baby for 2 years LITERALLY makes me want to curl into a ball on the floor and start crying.  Every day.

But then I look over at my pictures of Taylor and Cotton and I know it will be ok.  They will keep me wonderfully distracted for the next couple of years.  We will have so much fun together cuddling, walking, and cleaning up poop.  I can't wait.  They are my babies for the time being and I'm not afraid of a little more responsibility.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My war against sunburns

I'm allergic to the sun.  I don't just say that because I am whiter than white and can't tan to save my life.  I really am allergic to the sun.  If my skin get too hot and is exposed to the sun, I get a rash.  Not a sunburn, a rash.  If my skin is covered... no rash.

My ancestors are the epitome of white-ness.  I'm English, Irish, German, Russian and Norwegian.  Absolutely none of those areas are none for their caramel-colored complexion.

Since we are entering summer (and we are preparing for a weekend in the desert next week), it was time to stock-up on all things sun-protection related.  And my yearly skin-check (cause you have to have those when you are whiter than porcelain) is the week after our weekend-trip.  So I really can't get burnt.

Plus now I have this brand-new neck scar. I hear scars hurt REALLY bad when they get sunburned. Scar skin is supposed to be more sensitive than regular skin. I ask my mom the best way to protect my neck scar and she replied, "Cover it."  Yeah... we are going to be in 100 degree heat.  I'm not wearing a turtle-neck or a scarf.

But I figured it out...

{Look at my big hat! and not the woman wearing the pajama nightie}

I bought a REALLY big hat. 

And three bottles of sunscreen.

Plus I plan to wear maxi-dresses (cause then I don't have to worry about my legs).  I'm no amateur here.

Thyroid cancer was enough for me.  I certainly don't want skin cancer too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

2nd Anniversary Gift: Cotton

Since we have been trying to get a new puppy (and since a new puppy would be expensive), we decided a while ago that our anniversary gift would be the dog.  No big fancy dinner.  No weekend getaway.  Not fancy gift.

The traditional second anniversary gift is Cotton.

Please meet Cotton.

After that last litter died, I didn't really mention this litter much.  I was so afraid that something would happen and they would died too.  I didn't really let myself get excited, since I was afraid I would be disappointed again.

Our puppy visit was Saturday.  2 hours full of puppies.  It was so much fun.  I'm super excited again.  :)

There were three boys in this litter and we had the last pick (meaning we would get whichever puppy the two people in front of us didn't choose).  So when we got pictures of the puppies a few weeks ago, Phil and I tried not to get attached to any particular puppy.  But Phil didn't really follow those instructions.  He wanted the almost all white puppy (which would end up being Cotton).

When we got to the puppy visit yesterday, the people with the first pick had already chosen the puppy they wanted.  Both our breeder and the breeder of this litter wanted us to have the almost all white puppy.  They had told us they were going to try to convince the girl with the second pick to take the other puppy, so we could have Cotton.

Turns out, the girl didn't need any convincing.  She and the woman with the first pick wanted the puppies with the most orange color (not Cotton).  They didn't wanted Cotton, which worked out great for us.  We wanted him.  Taylor was the leftover from a litter as well and she is the best dog.  I'm sure Cotton will be the same way.

2 weeks until we get to bring him home!  I am counting the days (more like counting the hours).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dentist

I've said it before, I'll say it again... I hate going to the dentist.

Not because of anything having to do with the dentist at all.  Although actually, having my teeth cleaned is not my favorite activity.  It's been almost a day since my cleaning and my teeth still hurt.  I hate going to the dentist because the last 3 times I have gone to the dentist, I have gotten bad health news within a few days afterwards.

Now, none of the health news has ANYTHING to do with my teeth (i.e. I got the results of my thyroid nodule biopsy the day after I went to the dentist last time).  I realize that this dentist anxiety is completely stupid and superstitious.  Nevertheless, it's there.

I have been trying to avoid going to the dentist for a couple of months now.  I kind of don't want to go when I have other doctors appointments in the same month.  Since the summer is when I do my eye appointment, skin check, and annual plus I have my thyroid check-up in August, I was trying to not see the dentist until the fall.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to take my beloved Synthroid and Cytomel and when the water hit my tooth, I knew I could not avoid the dentist any longer. 

One of the best parts of the dentist appointment is the flossing conversation.  I had a new dentist this time, so he wasn't aware of my flossing-laziness.  So when the dentist asks if I floss everyday, my answer was simply, "No."  I'm not going to try and pretend like I do it every day.  I don't.

So the flossing lecture began.  About how I need to make a habit out of it.  It is really easy to do.  Blah blah blah.

That's when I said, "One thing at a time."  I'm just starting to get into taking pills multiple times a day and cope with the fact that this is my life and wrap my head around the fact that I have been through so much in such a short amount of time.  Plus I have PMS, so I can feel myself getting close to crying.

The sweet hygienist says, "She's had a rough year."  That's right!

My kind-hearted dentist replies, "Well, life happens and you're just going to have to keep these habits.  Even when life is going."

Are you kidding me?!?!  Can he not see the still very fresh and pick scar on my neck?  I didn't even shower yesterday morning.  I have a pile of clothes on the couch from Sunday that I still need to fold.  Phil and I have been trying to figure out what adjustments we need to make so he has enough time to finish his dissertation.  Plus we have the WONDERFUL added stresses of having basically one income and some awesome medical bills ala health insurance with a high deductible and out of pocket max.

This isn't normal life.

Flossing is pretty low on my list, Dr. Jerk-face, DMD. 

PLUS, he didn't do a neck check.  (Does your dentist check your neck?  They should.  ASK them to do it!)

Hopefully my dentist curse is over.  We'll see how my eye exam goes this afternoon. (fingers crossed!!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients5 Peppers (Yellow, Red, Orange, or Green)
1 lb Ground meat (we like to use bison)
1 cup uncooked brown rice or quinoa
2 cups water (for cooking rice)
1 small onion chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves minced
24 ounces no salt added tomato sauce
garlic powder
dried oregano

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cooked the rice/quinoa.  We have a rice cooker, so I like to use that.
3.  Put onion in a pan on medium heat.  Cook onions for about 5 minutes and then add the meat and brown it.  Season meat with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4.  Cut the tops off the peppers, set aside,  Clean the peppers and place in a microwave safe dish.  Put a little water in the bottom of the dish and microwave peppers for about 5 minutes.
5.  Once the meat is cooked, add the tomato sauce and garlic.  Add rice/quinoa when it is cooked.  Season a little if you'd like.  Stir together.  Remove from heat.
6.  Spoon stuffing into the microwaved peppers to the top. 
7.  Place thing slices of cheese on the top.  Put peppers in the oven.  Cook until the cheese bubbles, approximately 20 minutes.
8.  Turn broiler on HI and cook for an additional few minutes, until the cheese crisps up.


If you have any leftover stuffing, I like to cut up the tops of the peppers and put those with the extra stuffing with a little cheese.  It makes a really yummy lunch.

I don't know how many calories are in these, but it can't be that bad.  You get your meat, grain, veggie, and a little dairy all in one.  They are gluten-free and you could make them vegetarian by using black beans instead of meat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dude, Where's Your Car?

Only in Oregon...

Home of weird Portlanders, tons of organic food, birkenstocks, granola eaters, and a consistent blue state...

Can you see this in the parking lot:

I sent this picture to Phil and a ton of obvious jokes came out:

- I almost didn't see it!

- Do you think he gets rear-ended a lot?  Cause you know... no one sees him brake.

- Phil said he was glad I didn't try to park in his spot. (Cause it looked like it was open.)

Shockingly enough their NRA sticker was very visible.  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stupid pants

I took my neck scar shopping this weekend.

Almost all of my work clothes come from The Limited.  All of my suits, dress pants, and blazers are from there.  Last week, The Limited sent me 3 different e-mails with information about sales and coupons.  One of the coupons was for 50% off up to 3 regular prices items.  That was enough to entice me to drive an hour to the mall.

So off to the mall I went Saturday morning.  I was really in the market for some ankle length work pants.  I must have tried on at least 5 different pairs of pants and only 1 didn't make me look like a fat cow.  One pair fit great and looked really good on, so I tried on another pair in a different color.  They didn't fit at all!!  The sales associate told me it was probably because the pair I had tried on first was probably stretched out from having so many other people try them on.  Thanks and gross.

My only option for getting more pants was to buy a bigger size, which meant I would have to get a size I had never worn before.  The larget size of clothes I have ever had to buy.

Not happening.  My pity party was about to start in the dressing room.

Really, I need to cut myself some slack.  I wasn't super happy with my lower-half before I found out about my nodules.  When you are trying to get pregnant, you aren't supposed to exercise a ton or restrict your calories so I hadn't been able to lose weight last year.  And then after I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I really didn't exercise any more.  I was busy, ya know, healing.  And even with losing the gland that controls your metabolism, I only gained about 3 pounds.  Not too shabby.

However, I also need to get my big butt back into the gym.  Sure there is a good reason for why I have gained weight.  But that is over know.  As far as I know, I am done with thyroid cancer treatment and am just in the monitoring phase (for hopefully forever).  It's time to put on my big girl (pun intended) pants and trim the fat.  Plus I need to be as healthy as possible, not only to help keep cancer from coming back but also for fertility treatments.  And if (God forbid) I were to get cancer again, being as healthy as possible can only help.

Stupid pants.  I should have known better than to try on pants.  It never ends well.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Post: The Daily Tay

Last week, Taylor tweeted she was in the mood for "guest blogging blitz."  Since I think Taylor is one of the FUNNIEST bloggers out there, I decided I would jump all over that shiz.

Her latest Bachelorette recap made it tolerable for Phil to watch the episode with me.  His exact words were that Taylor's recap was "more entertaining than the actual show."  I agree.


Hello Mrs. Janney Readers!
TGIF woo hoo!
My name is Taylor and I blog over at the The Daily Tay

I usually just write about a hodge podge of different things-
like my love/hate relationship with Emily Maynard,
Jessica Simpson's baby
and the fact I believe cursive writing was invented by a bunch
of pretentious 3rd graders.
Really it's mostly about my life in Chicago 
with my wonderful boy, Chris,
and the little pup we both love way too much, Harlow.

In honor of Mrs. Janney's lovely post about her two year wedding anniversary,
I thought I'd share some knowledge I've learned 
after being in a relationship for quite some time, as well.
Just so you know a little bit of our background, Chris and I been together for just about
five years and have lived together for two.
We're not against marriage, neither of us just feel old enough to do it yet...
And I still blush at the idea of kissing Chris in front of my parents.

Living together is hard.
Mostly because I'm convinced girls have just a few more crazy genes that boys do.
I tried to deny this for years, I played the "cool girlfriend" for a really long time.
But it's just the way it is, so we might as well accept it.

Here a few of the common "debacles" Chris and I often get into.

He says I "hide his stuff," I say I put it away.
Shoes go in the closet. So when he leaves them in the living room at night,
and then can't find them the next morning in the same spot,  he thinks they're hidden.
When in fact, the shoe fairy (me) just put them back where they belong.

He likes to keep every single thing possible out and available on the bathroom sink.
And contrary to popular belief, boys have a lot of bathroom stuff.
Razors, shaving creme, lotion, contacts, contact solution, contact case, etc etc.
But silly old me thinks that is exactly what the bathroom drawers are for.
So I put it away. And then we start the game of 
"where did you hide my bathroom stuff" all over again...

This cup doesn't leave a ring, I don't need a coaster.
Yes, yes you do. All cups leave rings.
In hindsight, the glass coffee table wasn't the best option for me and my OCDness.
But I have to deal with it, so that means coasters a must.
That isn't so much to ask, right?

A made bed, is a happy bed.
I hate getting into an unmade bed at night. 
It just feels dirty.
Chris doesn't feel the same way. He could go his entire life without making a bed
and be perfectly fine with it.

And I am going to stop there because I didn't realize
what a wacko I have turned into.
I swear I'm not crazy, we just have a teeny tiny apartment 
here in Chicago and any clutter/mess makes it feel ten times smaller.
(these are typical excuses crazies often make)

Bottom line, 
my days are better coming home to Chris. 
I couldn't imagine living with anyone else in the entire world.
When we first started dating back in college five years ago everyone said 
we were in the "puppy love stage" and it would eventually fade.
And yet I keep wondering when it will...
I guess I just got pretty lucky.

Okay, this is as sappy as it gets, this is actually unusually gushy for me. 
Mrs. Janney must bring out the lovey/dovey side in people.

So stop on by so you can check out my usual 
more sarcastic and cynical posts!

She's hilarious, right?  I'll try to keep it quiet that I am sometimes a terribly messy person so that Taylor will still be my friend.  I promise I ALWAYS use coasters though.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Anniversary Dinner

To celebrate our second anniversary, we had decided we would keep it simple and just go out to eat at a nice restaurant in town.  Not too nice, but a little nicer than normal.  So we made reservations.

But things didn't go quite at planned.

That afternoon, my uncle ended up in the hospital.  Since my dad's side of the family is really close, my dad and uncle that I work with went to the hospital right away to be with him.  That meant that my dad needed someone to cover his evening meeting for him.

I volunteered.

The meeting was super easy.  I basically just went for looks (which I'm pretty good at).

So here's what we did instead:

We went to the dog park.  I was run into by a husky, which left a lovely bruise on my shin.

Went to Petco.  Nothing says "I love you" like a pooper scooper.

Had a romantic dinner.

McDonald's drive thru is romantic.  He said I could have anything off the menu.  :)

Honestly, after the year we have had I am not surprised that our plan didn't work out.  But who cares?  We certainly didn't.  We spent the evening together and exchanged mushy cards.  I was able to fill in so my dad could be with his brother.  And most importantly, my uncle is ok.

It was a wonderful anniversary.  :)

More about our gifts later.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It happened... I'm back

It started this past week.  I went to the Pacific Northwest Blogger meet-up with Jes and Tegan Friday night.  And I didn't run out of energy.

And then Saturday was a super productive day as I mentioned before.

Sunday we got up early and went to breakfast, then I went to the coffeshop while Phil went fishing, and to Danielle's house to make some freezer jam.  I got home and cleaned the bathroom, started laundry and made a salad.

Monday night I went to the gym and attempted running again.  It wasn't pretty and it was harder than it should be.  But I was able to walk/run 4 miles in an hour, which isn't all that bad considering how little I have moved since my half-marathon last October.

Then I began looking at races to sign up for.  And I realized I wanted to sign up for not one, not two, but THREE different races this fall (2 half-marathons and a 7 mile trail run).

That's when it hit me... I'm back.

Not quite the same.  The neck scar comes with a little bit of baggage.  And I'm sure there will be times when the thyroid hormones and possibility of cancer come back send me into an anxious fit.  But for the most part, I'm me again.

My blog numbers have been a little low lately.  It's probably because of the puppies dying.  Let's be honest, nobody wants to hear about puppies dying.  Not to mention that that kind of sent me into a debbie-downer funk for a little while.  But I'm feeling better!  And I am thankful for those of you who stuck around during my cancer-infertility-dead puppy pity party.

I promise we will get to the happier side of life, full of funny stories and awkward moments (I am never short of those).

So stay tuned people!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Today is our second wedding anniversary.

I don't even know where to start.

Obviously this past year has dealt us our fair share of trials.  If told me a year ago that our second year of marriage would have been so challenging, I am not sure I would have believed them.  I certainly wouldn't have wanted to.

When you are young and get married, you picture all the adventures ahead of you.  Happiness.  Babies.  Building a home.  Careers.  Basically just rainbow and sunshine.  Sadness, illness, and heartbreak aren't supposed to come until much later.  But there is a reason wedding vows include "in sickness and in health", "in good times and in bad".  Marriage isn't for the faint of heart.

I'd like to think that if the roles had been reversed, that I would have taken care of Phil with as much selflessness and devotion as he did for me.  But I know that isn't totally true.  I don't think I would have done as good of a job as he did.  What I have learned in my second year of marriage is that I definitely married up.

While our second year of marriage hasn't been perfect, it has been filled with lessons in love and marriage that I think bond us together more than most couples who have been together for much longer than us.  Lingerie hasn't been pulled out of the dresser drawers for quite a while, but the fleece pants and thermal shirts are seen regularly.  Romantic dinners have involed eating anything that includes iodine.  Evenings spent cuddling usually also involve crying (stupid hormones).  And for a while there, showering together was a necessity so he could wash my hair.

With tears, surgeries, scars, scans, and cancer Phil has showed me that his love for me is more than physical attraction and my witty personality. And I am so much more in love with him because of it.  That is the best anniversary present I could ever ask for. 

Happy Anniversary Love!  I love you!  And here's to some happier adventures in our third year.

Monday, June 4, 2012


There's a coffeeshop I like to go to on the weekends.  They have kick-ass lattes and a pretentious environment I find oddly conducive to writing.  Phil wanted to go fishing on Sunday and I had couple of hours to spare before I went to Danielle's house to make freezer jam, so I headed to the coffeeshop to do a little writing.

At the table next to me (and the outlet for my computer) were two married couples.  For over an hour, they had (at full volume) conversations about their kids, the economy, their church (and the possible real estate purchase the church was hoping to make), and managing wills. 

But what struck me the oddest about the conversation was that one of the husbands never let his wife finish a sentence.  Not only did he not let her finish a sentence, every time he interrupted her he changed the subject.  EVERY TIME.  He needed to just keep hush for a second and let his wife talk.

Yes, I eavesdrop on conversations.  If you are going to talk at a normal volume, I'm going to listen.

Right before they left, a little old man sat at another table next to me.  There was the CUTEST English bulldog puppy outside and we were both looking at him.  The old man started talking to me about the puppy.  Apparently he used to raise Dalmatians.  Then he talked about about his 2 dogs.  One of them was hit by a car last year and had to be in a cast. 

So I started talking to him about the puppies and about Taylor.  Then with a sad and honest expression, he told me that his dogs were all he had.  And that they were what kept him going.  We talked about dogs a little bit more and then he got ready to leave.  Before he left he thanked me for talking with him.  He said he really needed a little conversation.

Break my heart.

{Image from HERE}

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What to do today?

Phil and I didn't have anything planned for today.  We woke up and said, "What are we going to do today?"  We had no idea.  Somehow we managed to fill it and have one of the most productive days we have had in a LONG time.

Here's what we did:
-  Went to the Saturday Market with my mom and picked up 2 tomato plants and cheap yummy veggies to make a salad.
-  Grocery shopping.  We stopped to pick up 3 things and ended up getting all of our shopping for the week done and our menu planned for the week.
-  Instead of just putting the groceries away, Phil decided the refridgerator needed to be COMPLETELY cleaned out.  That included getting rid of old condiments and all the leftover food from my diet.  Then he put his chemist cleaning skills to the test and de-germified it.  Now it looks empty.  And wonderful.

{It looks empty but it is has enough food for the week.  And yes that is chocolate milk on the side of the picture.  Chocolate milk and yogurt are the only way I can Phil to eat dairy.}

-  I decided to make THESE cookies that Erin made the other day.  The recipe says it yields 72 cookies.  Cause that's what Phil and I need... 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies.  I made them a little small and ended up making 99.  I'll be taking some of them to work.  They are really good.  Like REALLY good.
{So many cookies}
-  Then I vacuumed and oiled the kitchen island.  And washed dishes.  And ended the war in Afghanistan.  Ok maybe I didn't do ALL of those things.  Try and guess which one.
And now we are taking it easy until we head out for a date tonight at the Drive-in.  We will be watching Snow White and the Huntsman.  I know Phil is super excited.  Everytime I think of going to the drive-in, I have to supress the urge to belt out "Sandy" from Grease in the area in front of the screen.

It's a little low for my range, so I try to compensate by REALLY belting it out.  I like to get into it.

But I should probably try to not do my Drive-in performance.  At least not if I want Phil to take me to the drive-in in the future.  And not be committed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Random Recap

I put together a list of random thoughts from this week.  I figure it is better than another post where I talk about my feelings.  We'll save that for Monday.  :)  Meanwhile, my husband is earning points toward his Saint-hood left and right.  I can't even tell you what last night's cry-fest was about.  Oh... thyroid hormones.

{Another picture from my walk with Taylor yesterday.}

- Facebook has really just turned into a place to announce pregnancy.  EVERY DAY someone is either announcing they are pregnant or having a baby.  The next person to announce they are pregnant on Facebook is getting de-friended.  I mean business, people.

-  Speaking of which, I am working on three baby blankets right now.  Now that my radioactivity has dropped, I feel like it is safe for me to work on baby-related craft projects.  These people and their babies better love these dang blankets.  If they don't, I want them back.

-  Dawson's Creek is on Netflix now.  It is awesome in a ridiculous kind of way.  It is made even better since I have been reading Suri's Burn Book.

-  I need to find a support group for my addiction to Cherry 7Up.  It is getting out of hand.

-  Sometimes I wish I could post more about my job and working with relatives.  But really I can't.  Being a business owner means I have to keep things on the down-low sometimes.  Let's just say that this week I have discovered that what I like to call "Man Logic" is alive and well.  And it is kind of dumb.  Because that $h!t wouldn't fly with any woman anywhere.

-  I read a post yesterday that gave health and fitness advice to ward off diseases like cancer and infertility.  I love the implication that I made myself sick.  Just because you are lucky enough to be healthy doesn't mean that you do anything special that I don't.  And that post isn't the first time that implication has been made.  Next time someone implies that to my face, they may get a verbal bitch slap.

-  Phil refuses to read the Harry Potter books, but he loves it when I read them to him.  So we are starting at the beginning.  But since my reading voice is so soothing, we fall asleep about 3 minutes after I begin reading.  In 2 weeks of reading, we have made it to Chapter 2.  It might take us a while to finish all 7 books.

-  I really stuck my foot in my mouth at work yesterday with one of my coworkers.  I basically implied that she was too old to have babies.  It was an accident and she was a good sport about it.  But it had been a while since I REALLY dug myself a hole.  Here's an example of one of the BEST foot in mouth moments I have ever had:

I was at a city hall for a meeting with one of our clients.  This building happens to be an open air, concrete building.  In Oregon.  And it happened to be raining that day (surprise).  So we were standing in the open hair hall, freezing our behinds off.

Me:  Man it's cold.  I hate this building.

Client:  Oh yeah?

Me:  Yeah.  I mean who would design an open air building in Oregon like this?

Client:  My father.

Turns out his dad was an architect and actually designed city hall.  Of course.  He likes to tell people that story.  Eventually I will learn to just STOP TALKING.

{Baby grapes}
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