Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blast from the Past.

Yesterday, I came across this post on BlogHer about a blogger who got sued for using a photo that she didn't own on her blog. Even though she took it down as soon as requested, she still had to pay what sounds like some big bucks. Anyway, she mentioned that you're actually able to be sued, even if you've given a photo credit to the photo's proper owner (which obviously poses major issues with Pinterest, but I kind of feel like burying my head in the sand on that one for now). And that scared the ever living daylights out of me, and I got it through my head that I needed to go through every single 1250+ posts dating back to 2007 on this blog right there and THEN, or else I would surely get sued.

I tend to be black and white to a fault sometimes.

Anyway, I just about wanted to delete everything from 2007 and 2008 because probably 95% of it is complete garbage. But, they still tell the story of who I am now, so I largely refrained...aside from a few posts that just didn't make sense without the photos I was removing and/or could potentially hurt the feelings of others, and shouldn't really have been posted in the first place. I have to admit, going back through the archives was sometimes kind of cringe-worthy for me. There were lots of posts where I was a jerk. But there were also lots of posts where I was me, just as I am today. And? There were also some really hilarious ones, like that time where I got turkey guts in my eye, or when I looked like I'd been severely beaten after a garment rack fell on me.

Or this post, which I felt like perfectly summarized the hilarity and absurdity of being a new parent

I also came across this photo of my niece Payton from 2008:

And  I was SHOCKED at how much she looks like Lizzy to me, because I don't always think they look super similar now! I also laughed out loud, because I feel like this is a face my kiddo makes on the regular.

Sometimes it's fun to look back...even if it makes you cringe a little ;)

But anyway....I'm still just starting to get into 2010, and I'm having to remind myself that there *is* some gray area after all. For example, I doubt Old Navy is going to sue me for posting a photo off of their website and saying, "OMG I love this dress from Old Navy and want to buy it immediately!" Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm betting that's not as big of a deal as just pulling random images from Google Images.So, I'm still working on it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Squish Factor

Lyla (79) 
 This is my niece Lyla. I finally finished editing the newborn session that I did with her about two weeks ago...and few things make me happier than squishy babies...and who doesn't need an extra dose of happy on Monday mornings?

Also, this session made me really excited to meet our sweet little #2, who unfortunately remains unnamed. And I can't believe that we'll be meeting her in just about 3-4 short months.

Also, it's kind of crazy to think that less than 3 years ago when Lizzy was born, I had absolutely no idea how to go about doing a "real" newborn photo session. They totally intimidated me, and I didn't particularly have any desire to do them ever. Now? I'd pretty much be content photographing newborns almost exclusively from now until forever, amen.

Lyla (35)
Lyla (19)
Lyla (15)
Lyla (18)

And a little vintage wash just for fun :)

Lyla (88)

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 24 weeks

24 weeks

I feel lumpy and blah this week. 
This has been one of the first weeks I've thought I looked better and smaller in the weekly photo from Lizzy. Anyway, compared to 24 weeks with Lizzy:

How far along: 24 weeks....which means it's viability week (i.e. 50% of babies born at 24 weeks survive--incredibly, I think next week at 25 weeks the statistic jumps to a 70% survival rate).

Size of baby: A cantaloupe (The Bump) or an ear of corn (Baby Center). In other words, 10.5 to 11.8 inches and about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.

Weight Gain: +2 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. I had a different nurse than usual at my OB this week, and discovered that apparently, she is counting from my lowest weight, as she said, "Oh...you've gained 11 pounds...that's not too bad." {cue mini internal freak out from me} Personally, I think that's silly--I don't know about you all, but if I've lost weight due to being sick, practically as soon as I look at jello or chicken broth, I gain that weight right back. So yeah, for my own sanity, I plan to track from pre-pregnancy weight rather than first-trimester-sick weight.

Symptoms: Still heartburn. Every week, I find myself thinking 'I've GOTTA pick up some Tums!' Also, I'm starting to find myself pretty uncomfortable and just big at times...which is kind of scary because I've got 16 weeks to go!

Exercise:Yes! Still on the elliptical. Not super intense, but I'm sweating, which I think is good. Today was difficult--I only made it 15 minutes, and totally felt like I was slogging through mud the whole time. It wasn't fun, but I'm feeling super motivated to exercise after watching my sister-in-law Renee and how amazing she looks and seems to have recovered after her pregnancy, which I know she attributes to exercising this time. I definitely got a later start to exercising, but I'm hoping that even at this point, and even at a fairly low-intensity level, it'll make things easier post-partum.

Clothes: In this week's photo, the shorts are maternity, the tank is an old Target Long & Lean tank (not maternity).

Cravings/Aversions:Nothing specific that I'm indulging in.

Movement: Yep! Lizzy got to feel a kick while snuggling on the couch watching TV the other day, and she was thrilled.

Worries: Right now they're mostly at bay--I did ask my dermatologist's nurse about the mole on my boob that  I was freaking about, and she took a photo and said she's going to have me come back in 2 months to check it out again. That calmed me down, 'cause even though I didn't see the doctor herself, I know she probably looked at the photo yesterday, and would have called to take it off right away if she was concerned. I'm so thankful for her and her awesome nurses.

Now, the only other thing I'm stressed about is that OHSU has apparently decided to send us to collections even though we've been making a payment every month. So that's awesome. I'd always been told they can't do that as long as you're making a payment, but apparently they can, at least here in Oregon. The lady on the phone said that I was being "uncooperative in paying the minimum required amount" and had "refused a payment arrangement". I about lost my shit--because the bottom line is that OHSU took a look at Justin's income from last December (which I've explained time and again is light-years away from his current income), did not consider any of our other expenses and/or debt, and decided how much we can pay. And for us, that number is unrealistic no matter how much budget tweaking we do. So we pay what we can every month. Some months, that's not a lot, and some months it's more. But we make a payment every months, and that doesn't seem to matter to OHSU. All that seems to matter to them is that our account must be paid off in a certain number of months, or we're apparently sent to collections. Regardless of the balance, regardless of the procedure. And now I'm trying not to stress about it, because we're doing the best we can, and there's nothing we can do differently.

PSA: Wear sunscreen. Do skin checks regularly. Because skin cancer is expensive, even with insurance.

Milestones: Her lungs are developing, including cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help air sacs inflate once she's born. Also, her skin is becoming less and less translucent.

What's Different This Time: Still no name. Also, I'm generally going to OB appointments by myself this time, which is kind of major for me.

Best moment of the week: There were lots of good moments--despite my little rant about OHSU, it's actually been a really good week! Lizzy felt the baby kick, we got to hear baby girl's heartbeat via the doppler on Tuesday, and the mole I was worried about on my stomach came back definitively not melanoma. There's good all around :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crazier than Usual...

So, on Friday the dermatologist called to tell me that the spot that she removed was not melanoma. It was actually nothing at all, other than my awesome doctor being overly cautious. Thank God!

But with that said, this morning as I hopped out of the shower, I noticed another mole on the underside of one of my boobs. It's sort of two-colored, and I immediately found myself wondering 'Has it always been two colors? What if the dermatologist missed this one last time? I get my stitches out tomorrow...maybe I should bring it up. But it's just the nurse, not the doctor. I mean, I'm sure the doctor saw it. But what if she didn't? Has it always looked like this? I should ask Justin if it's always looked like this. But what if Justin hasn't been paying attention and what if my doctor hasn't been paying attention and what if it has changed and what if it's something bad? And what if since it's on my boob, it makes it so I can't breastfeed? Maybe I should wait a few months and watch it. My dermatologist is awesome, and I know she did a full check at my last appointment last week. I'm sure she didn't miss it. But I'm already going in tomorrow...maybe I should just bring it up? In case she did miss it? But I don't want to deal with any more stitches or anything else right not.'

Then, I noticed that where I got stung by a bee last week on my foot was all swollen again. And I found myself thinking, 'What if it wasn't a bee sting? What if it was a terrible, awful spider like a brown recluse, and what if my whole foot falls off? Or what if it was a scorpion? Do we have scorpions here in Oregon? Maybe I should Google about scorpions and make sure it isn't a scorpion. Or a spider. What if it's some terrible pregnancy condition? Should I bring it up at my OB appointment today? Oh my gosh, I have an OB appointment today. I can feel the baby kicking, but what if something's wrong? I don't know what would be wrong, but what if something is?! '

By then, I was starting to realize that I was majorly freaking out about...nothing, really. I could feel my chest tightening up with stress, and I KNEW I was stressing about silly stuff, but I couldn't get myself to stop freaking out.

And then? Because I couldn't get myself to stop freaking out, I started freaking out that my blood pressure would be too high at my OB appointment this morning.

{which is really kind of humorous if you think about it}

I don't know if anybody else has ever experienced anything like this--anxiety and worry about small stuff that you simultaneously KNOW is small stuff, and also can't stop yourself from worrying about. But I do. And it's usually when I'm worried, stressed, or have anxiety about something else entirely.

When I think about it, I'm pretty sure it has to do with being shot in the back (a kid sniped me with a BB gun) at the park last week, and then waking up the next morning to the news of the shooting in Colorado. I think that, in and of itself, may have shaken me up more than I realized. Before the last few days, being randomly shot by a person I don't know hadn't even been a blip of worry on my radar. Now it is. And it's scary. Then, over the weekend, someone died in front of my brother after falling off a ladder. Justin told me last night that a guy he knows just recently drowned. Right now, I kind of feel like DEATH AND DANGER ARE EVERYWHERE AND NO PLACE IS SAFE.

Does that sound silly? Even I think it does in a way. In the logical part of my brain. At the very least, it's pretty sensational and dramatic. There's really no point to this post, friends....and I don't mean it to be a total debbie downer post either, because I can kind of see that this is a little bit hysterical from an outside point of view. I just feel a little crazier than usual today, and felt like getting it out of my head was better than keeping it in :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

From the back of the book: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

When it comes to novels,  I think that we as readers generally believe that we can trust the narrator. We may see the narrator lie to others within the novel, but I think that generally, we know that they're telling the truth to us, because we're the chosen few who get a glimpse of what's going on in that particular character's head.

That said, within the first few chapters of Gone Girl (which is told alternating between Nick and Amy as narrator), it becomes obvious that either one or both of the narrators are lying to us. Or at the very least, they're not telling us the complete truth. It shortly becomes obvious that small lies are building and building--but to what end? 

In the heart-racing second act of the book, we find out just how extensively we've been lied to, and a whole new world of possibility about Amy's disappearance opens up. And let me tell you, it's a doozy. It sort of feels like a descent into madness, as we begin to question everything we know as a reader, because even after we know the who, we don't quite yet know the why. That is, until Gone Girl moves into the skin-crawling third and final act, in which the reason behind it all is revealed...and it's even more creepy than I ever could have imagined.

Gillian Flynn was an author who was not at all on my radar before...but she certainly is now! It's been a long, long, long time since I felt so genuinely surprised by a book. Since I had no idea what to expect or what could possibly be coming next. I'm not sure I've EVER been as severely creeped out while reading a novel as I was when I came to the final pages of Gone Girl...and although it seems strange to wholeheartedly recommend a book for being creepy, I absolutely am. It's indescribable, and you just simply must read it now.

Disclosure Statement: I received a free ARC copy of this book through my NetGalley membership.I was not compensated for my time, or for my review. However, a copy of this review was provided to the publisher as a courtesy. As always, all opinions are my own--I couldn't lie about a book even if I wanted to!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 22 and 23 weeks

So first of all, I was at the park this morning, and I freaking got SHOT IN THE BACK with a BB gun. I was (and am) absolutely livid. That park was filled with kids, and I'm so thankful that it was me and not one of the kids, and that no one got seriously hurt. I don't want to say much more because the police are involved and it's an open case, but seriously, I'm so mad. I have no problem with guns, but I think BB guns should be treated with the same respect as any other gun, and I have zero tolerance for crap like this. Really. It is completely unacceptable to shoot a BB gun into a park filled with kids. Also? It's been on hell of a week. I've had stitches in my pregnant belly. I've been stung by a bee in between my toes. AND I'VE BEEN SHOT. I mean really? REALLY?! I couldn't make this up if I tried. Oh, and then when we got home from the park, Lizzy was throwing a temper tantrum, and peed on my camera bag. So yeah. There's that. But at this point, what can you do besides laugh? Anyway, on the positive side, my mom and sister came and picked up Lizzy for the afternoon...and I'm grateful for the chance to take a nap and watch some TV after this heck of a week!

But now that that's off my chest....


 23 weeks. 
Compared to 23 weeks with Lizzy:

How far along: 23 weeks. I missed last week's update thanks to the new baby niece excitement (yay!).

Size of baby: A grapefruit (The Bump) or a large mango (Baby Center). In other words, 10.5 to 11.8 inches and about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.

Weight Gain: +2 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. I have no idea whether I should be counting from pre-pregnancy weight, or from my low weight since I've been pregnant. Counting from pre-pregnancy makes me feel better, so I'll go with that.

Symptoms: Nothing pregnancy related this week! I think the stitches/bee sting/getting shot have occupied most of my attention, ha!

Exercise:Yes! Justin moved the elliptical in for me this weekend, and I have now used it every morning this week, except for the one day that I was forbidden to do so because of the stitches. It's so nice.

Clothes: Some maternity, and also some non-maternity tunics and dresses that I found at Goodwill. In this week's photo, the shorts are maternity, and I have no idea about the top because the tag was cut out.

Cravings/Aversions: Chocolate and pizza. I'm refraining from those two, though I did totally stop at Taco Bell on the way home from the park today.

Movement: Yep, and Justin even got to feel a kick the other night!

Worries: Stressing about news on the mole (which I won't have until next week at the very earliest). And here's the funny part about that, which I realized in the shower this morning: I've had a number of moles removed before, and none of them were skin cancer. In fact, the one time it WAS skin cancer, it wasn't even a mole that was removed, it was a "bruise" that never went away. I don't know why I'm so stressed about it this time. Probably just because it's the first one post skin cancer. Either way, I will be glad whenever this is all over, and seriously hope its sooner rather than later.

Milestones: Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and she's hearing more and more sounds from the outside world, such as dogs barking and horns honking.

What's Different This Time: Um, we have no name. I've been fantasizing about a long leisurely dinner where Justin and I discuss names, and magically fall on one that we both LOVE but thus far, it hasn't happened.

Best moment of the week: It's a toss up between my newest niece Lyla being born, and Justin getting to feel a baby kick for the first time :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sometimes, you just need the wildflowers.

On Monday, I got stitches on my stomach. And they came with directions like "no swimming for 10 days" and "you're not allowed to pick up your daughter". They are big-time irritating, and much harder to forget about than the previous ones on my back.

Yesterday, we went with my mom to pick a few berries. I got stung by a bee in between my toes. It seems like such a small thing, but man ALIVE it hurts. And it's swollen, and itchy, and all I want to do is take some Benadryl (which is allowed by my doctor), but I can't do that until Justin gets home or else I'll fall asleep on the parenting job, ha!

Then, last night we had to leave Justin's baseball game again because Lizzy wasn't listening, and started hitting and kicking me. So, that was also fun, and by the end of the night I was definitely having a bit of a pity party.

I woke up in the same mood. Trudged to the living room to balance the checkbook, flipped on the light switch, and yet another light sparked and burnt out. Clearly, the morning was not planning to turn around on its own.

So, this morning while the coffee was brewing, I went outside and walked around the backyard for a few minutes...even though it looks like it might dump rain on my head any second. I drifted over to the bank of wildflowers, which I'm so glad that I planted this year. Sometimes, you just need to see the wildflowers, you know?  They're a daily reminder for me of all that is a beautiful blessing...because I know there's lots of those beautiful blessings in my life...sometimes I just have to take the time to notice them.


To quote from Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty, which y'all NEED to watch if you don't):
 "Nature. They need to get into that more. Look around. [See] what the Almighty created."

Monday, July 16, 2012


I am {nervous} about my dermatologist appointment, even though I know it's not like I'll actually find anything out today. I'm also not looking forward to the stitches at all.

I am {thankful} that Justin moved the elliptical inside for me yesterday! I'm hoping to get on that soon, but it just occurred to me that the stomach stitches may throw a wrench into that plan. I hope not!

I am {laughing} about the coffee that Justin made. I'm pretty sure I could stand a horse-shoe up in it, it's so thick!

I'm {smitten} with my new niece Lyla Mae. There's just nothing better than a snuggling newborn. I never can decide whether I want to hold them, or take pictures of them more! Also, it was a total wake-up call that we'll have a newborn of our own relatively soon, which is NUTS.


I'm {a little worried} that my camera has been acting a little fussy lately. It's been displaying a "busy" message a lot more often lately, which used to be something I encountered very rarely--only when using the flash. Now, it seems to be happening a lot more frequently, and I'm hoping it's just a fluke and not the camera biting the dust!

I'm {so happy} to have an evening at home tonight! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Best Whirlwind

The last few days have been a crazy, glorious, amazing, blessing of a BLUR.

After Wednesday's totally freaked out post, Justin and I went out to dinner for a belated anniversary date once he finished jury duty, as Lizzy was spending the night at my parents' house. At that point, my head was in a totally different world, and I probably wasn't the best dinner company. We came home, and I had a bit of a meltdown, and then we fell asleep watching The Big Bang Theory, which is one of our newest loves! It was kind of a sucky five year anniversary date considering that I spent a good portion of it crying (ugh), but was also probably exactly what I needed at the moment!

I woke up about midnight mumbling something about how I HAD to plug in my dead cell phone in case my sister-in-law Renee went into labor. I think Justin thought I was insane because her due date is the 26th of this month. Then after I plugged it in, I pretty much didn't sleep the whole night, worrying about the dermatologist appointment on Monday. Which is silly, because it's not like I'll actually know anything on Monday anyway. I should be worrying about two weeks from Monday...but I digress. About 4am, we got a call that Renee was at the hospital and her water broken earlier that night (!)--my other sister-in-law Kelsey was at their house with the kiddos, but that she'd probably drop them at my house in the morning if that was okay. Of course it was, and I definitely didn't sleep much after that :)

The kiddos came over to my house in the morning, and then we headed to my parents' house to pick up Lizzy, and I figured we'd just hang out there and swim until we heard something. Payton and Logan were SO excited.

My sister asked us to come visit her at work, and the kiddos were THRILLED that she got them celebratory smoothies.

 Then later, we had giant pizza slices at my favorite pizza place in the whole wide world. Seriously, I want it again right now. I may have opened Pandora's Box by going there while pregnant, because now it's the only thing I want to eat. 

After that, we went swimming. They all did great. Lizzy was jumping in to the pool of the side of the ledge (jumping to me, but me letting her go under water briefly and then come back up). Payton is usually a little hesitant swimming and likes to use floaties, but before long she had those suckers off, and was putting her face in the water and practicing swimming across the pool (she did great!). Logan also took his floaties off and practiced swimming without them. It was a ton of fun. There are few things that make me happier than swimming with kiddos. 

We swam for several hours, and then Lizzy started to get really fussy, and so we piled in the car to head home. Within probably 5 miles, all 3 were out like a light. They all slept the 40 minutes home or so. Once home, we watched a quick episode of Dora, and then got ready to head to Justin's softball game, which was conveniently located just around the corner from the hospital. I continued to try not to call and text Ryan and Renee every 5 minutes to see how things were going :)

Our friend Pam is the master tooth puller. At the game, Payton asked her to see if one of her teeth was ready. It was :) Payton was thrilled that she lost a tooth the same day as she was gaining a little sister. Just in the last few minutes of the softball game (about 8:00pm) we got a call that their sweet baby sister had been born. Justin was still playing, but the kiddos were so excited I thought they might cry, so we made a plan for me to take the kids to the hospital right then, and Justin would meet us there after the game. 

{I wish I could toss up some "real" photos on here, but I have forgotten my camera card at home no less than 4 times in the last couple of weeks, and I'm just not taking any chances on that today!}

And we got to meet their beautiful "little" sister, who weighed 9 pounds 2oz, even two weeks early!!! As of last night, they hadn't quite picked a name, but I can't wait to see what they come up with! We didn't stay too long because it was late and Renee had been in labor for like 20 hours, and I'm sure she could not WAIT to get some sleep! Payton cried big time when we left, because she wanted to stay with her sister forever. It was the sweetest thing ever. 

We promised to come back in the morning when they wake up (you better believe we will, because I need to take 1,000,000 more photos, and I haven't actually held and snuggled her yet!)  It has been an awesomely exhausting couple of days. And you know what? I am so thankful for every minute of it, because not only has it been so much fun, but it has also left me nary a minute to dwell or stress about that stinking mole the dermatologist is removing on Monday. And that's a pretty amazing blessing in and of itself. But to not think of it because of a new little niece who has all of our hearts? Even better. And to think that in like FOUR MONTHS it'll be me having another little one? Amazing. 
The best whirlwind of all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I had my follow-up appointment with my dermatologist today regarding the skin cancer fiasco back in January. As I thought, the site of the skin cancer on my back looks fine, but she quickly focused in on a mole on my stomach above my belly button instead. She had asked about it last time, as it has slightly irregular borders--I told her that I've always had it and that it has always looked similar, but that it did seem to "stretch out" last time I was pregnant with Lizzy, and never completely went back to its pre-pregnancy shape. Then again, lot of things didn't.

She simply said that we'll watch it, and to remind her to look at it the next time I came in. So this time I did--and I figured that it was actually kind of a good thing I was pregnant, because it meant that she could actually see how it stretches.

She said that although skin definitely changes during pregnancy, and although pregnancy is obviously the worst possible time to remove a mole from the stomach, she wants to remove it ASAP. I go back Monday afternoon. It had stretched from 8mm to 11mm, and none of the other moles on my belly had stretched the same way during this pregnancy, and she said that she's just not going to take any chances with me, because any time a mole changes, you have to be concerned with melanoma. And though she doesn't think it's melanoma, she didn't think the mystery bruise was a super-rare form of skin cancer either. As she said, "Sometimes bad things happen to good people...twice. And I'm just not going to take any chances with you."

Which I'm thankful for. But also? A little bit terrified. Because melanoma is a big, scary word. And I know that we have no idea whether or not this little mole is or isn't melanoma yet, but it's hard for me not to go there...last time around, the answer was, "Yes, you have skin cancer." It's hard for me not to assume that's going to be the answer again this time (though for the record, the type I had previously does not increase my chances for any other kind of skin cancer in the future). I know that's not necessarily logical, but that's just the way my brain works.

And honestly? I just don't want to do it all again. I don't want to do the waiting and worrying. I don't want to do the months and months of paying doctors and hospitals. I don't want to do the weeks of not being able to physically pick up Lizzy...because even after stitches are removed, the skin is only at 10% strength. I definitely don't want to do whatever it is that comes after this if it IS skin cancer. Again.

And when I got in the car, and that song that goes "what if blessings come through raindrops" was on the radio, and I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Because although it's true, and I saw it in my own life last time around, I don't want to do it again. No gracias. And so right now, no matter how many Bible verses or devotions I read, or how many pages of scribbled frantic handwriting I jot into my prayer journal...right now...the bottom line is that I'm just a little bit scared. A little bit overwhelmed.

Sigh. Again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This morning....

-I'm thinking of the stuffed zucchini recipe that I made for dinner last night. I was inspired by this awesome recipe from Annie's Eats:

But I was running short on time and ingredients, and so I just combined ground beef, pasta sauce, and sprinkled a bit of parmesan cheese on top (and baked in a water bath). They were delicious. I think Justin ate 3 of them. So, I can't even imagine how much more delicious the Annie's Eats version would be!

-I'm nervous about my skin cancer follow-up appointment tomorrow afternoon, even though I don't have any reason to think that I should be.

-I'm beyond irritated with OHSU, who handled the skin cancer fiasco, and who also sent me a letter that we received yesterday saying that they'd be sending us to collections as of today for non-payment.

Only? According to my records and my bank account, we last made a payment on 6/11/12 over the phone...so I have no idea what this "non-payment" crap is about. Literally, every month since the procedure in January, there has been some sort of issue with OHSU, and I'm tired of spending time each month on the phone with them trying to explain how they've messed up...again. I've done my share of paying on medical bills in my life, and literally no one has handled it as poorly as OHSU.

-I'm excited about the raspberry freezer jam that I made yesterday. If you've ever wanted to make jam, you should check out this photo tutorial that I did last year, because it literally takes 30 minutes and is the easiest and best thing in the world. And there's no cooking or baking involved whatsoever. 

-I'm loving this photo that Kaitlin snapped of Lizzy last Monday while we were all berry picking. I totally stole it off Facebook. Speaking of berry picking...I really probably should, you know, WASH the blueberries that we picked a week ago, and actually do something with them.

-I'm excited about this stack of books that I got at the library for $1, total. Love their fill-a-bag sales!

-I'm still laughing about the shirt that I got for Justin (bottom photo) on clearance for $3 for himwhile he and the other Justin tried their hand at making beer for the first time this past weekend. They've totally decided that their first batch of beer will be the BEST! BEER! EVER! (even if it doesn't turn out), just because they made it. I think they're probably right! 


Monday, July 9, 2012


There's this scene in the movie Big Fish where one of the main characters is laying in a bathtub fully clothed. When his wife comes in and finds him, by way of explanation, he says, "I was drying out." I've always loved that movie, probably in large part because I have always related so strongly to that one line. It's in my bones, and my name...which is said to mean "keeper of the sea" in Welsh.

Growing up in Southern Oregon, we were surrounded by lakes, rivers, and the ocean (not to mention some awesome public pools). Most of my favorite summer memories involve some body of water...and now, if I spend too much time away from those bodies of water, I start to feel like I'm drying out.


On Sunday, I was feeling restless. Dried out. I suggested going swimming at my parents' house, but they were headed up to the lake up in the mountains where my brother works to have lunch with him. The same lake where I literally spent hours and even days wakeboarding in high school. The same lake where I remember watching the 4th of July fireworks as a kid. The same lake where Justin and I met. The same lake that, despite my love, we hadn't been to yet this year because we have been trying to conserve on gas. I love the lake, and it had been awhile since we visited with my parents. I wanted to go.

I asked if there was room for us to tag along in my parents' car, and there was. I knew that Justin didn't really want to go. There was laundry to be done, grass to be mowed, and a million other things to do at home. As we discussed it in the car, Lizzy was yelling, "NO! I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE LAKE! I DON'T WANT TO SWIM!" from the backseat. But ultimately, Justin left it up to me to decide. And I wanted to go. I felt dried out. And I was irritated that we had stayed home most of the day on Saturday to clean but still hadn't actually done much. I was dubious that we would actually get anything done that particular Sunday afternoon either. And I was a little irritated that Justin hadn't planned a time for our anniversary date this weekend, and was feeling like if we weren't going to go on that darn date, and we probably weren't going to end up cleaning (again), we might as well go do something fun as a family. So I said, "Let's go."

And I'm so thankful that Justin happily went along with it even though he didn't necessarily want to initially. Even though I was being a little childish and intentionally pestilent in making the actual decision to go. Because in the end, I think that we all ended up having a really good day.

And our sweet little girl who absolutely did not want to go the lake and absolutely did not want to swim? Within minutes of dipping her toes into the water, she was completely soaking wet and yelling "This is the BEST! DAY! EVER!" at the top of her lungs while splashing around the shore.

Sometimes, you just have to say, "Yes, you can get soaking wet, even though you're not in your swimsuit." Sometimes, it's necessary, just like the guy in Big Fish knew that sometimes, it's necessary to get into the bathtub fully clothed. And if that's not something you can understand, then I'm just not sure we can be friends. Plus, I knew we had a spare change of clothes in the diaper bag ;) 

We also got to spend sweet time with my parents, and visit my brother at his work...I've not always gotten along with my brother in the past, but am enjoying spending time with immensely this summer, and it was fun to see what he was doing at work. It was just a really, really good day, all around. (PS-Thank you dad, for picking up the camera when I went to go play with Lizzy in the water...it's nice to be in a photo or two once in awhile! I appreciate it!)


And the water...oh, the water! Truly, the water is good for my soul. Even though I just waded in and didn't actually swim (though now I'm kinda desperate to go swimming for real soon), it still managed to leave me feeling rested and renewed in a way that little else does.


Lizzy was right--it was one of the best days :)  
 It was a blessing, and I'm thankful. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Review: Gold by Chris Cleave

From the back of the book: What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

Kate and Zoe met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair.

Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose.

With the 2012 Summer Olympics beginning later this month, it is really no surprise that Chris Cleave's newest release Gold, which focuses on the lives of three Olympic cyclists, had a release date of July 2012. That said, I had the opportunity to read an advance reader copy thanks to Net Galley, and so I read the book just over a month ago, when the summer Olympics were barely a flicker on my brain...and I loved it.

I believe that Chris Cleave often writes the kind of books which are better the less you know going into them, so I don't want to reveal too much other than to say that Gold is about so much more than the Olympics. In fact, the Olympics themselves actually played a remarkably small role when you consider that the novel is about Olympic athletes. But that's probably because it's not about the Olympics. It's about friends, family, rivalry, and the sacrifices that you make for those you love. It's heart-warming. It's tragic. It made me smile, cry, cringe, and laugh. It's about life, and I thought Christ Cleave captured it absolutely beautifully.


Disclosure Statement: I received an ARC copy of this book through my Net Galley membership. A copy of this review will be provided to the book publishers, but I received no compensation in exchange for my review, and all opinions are my own. I don't think I could lie about a book even if I wanted to, and obviously I don't :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog Archive


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.