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Another installment of “My life according to my phone.”

14 Oct

Last week my parents came to visit and we had such a great time. My folks are very laid back and low maintenance, so their visits are always welcome. I got to play tourist in my town and travel up to Mendocino for the first time, down to Alacatraz, and of course, there was the requisite wine tasting with my mom.

I took some pretty fun photos while they were here as well as some the week before for my birthday; so in light of the sadness I’ve felt the last few days for my friend and some tough changes at work, I’m going to post them here for a little momentary distraction. I hope you enjoy them as well. Happy Friday, everyone!

birthday dinner

At home after my birthday dinner and feeling blissful.

happy birthday


This was my birthday gift from Tim and perhaps the best birthday present I have ever received.  I’ve been needing a solution for my jewelry as it was clumped all in bowls; I came home from North Carolina to this.  I was floored.  He and K had worked all weekend on it.  They made it out of salvaged windows and found small prints I had been saving and glued them to the backs of the glass that remained, then glued small wood slats and hung copper nails. 

I love it times a thousand. 


So what if I baked my own birthday cake?  The pumpkiny-browned-buttercream-topped-with-caramel-walnut-goodness wasn’t going to bake itself. 

rock mushrooms

This is a little mushroom forest made out of rocks in the middle of Yountville.  Wouldn’t these look great in a garden?

mirrorsMy mom and I.  Isn’t she the cutest?  And that’s just her natural pink aura, not a fancy trick mirror in Yountville.



A storm in the bay – as seen from Alcatraz.


The Warden’s home – Alcatraz.


Miniature San Francisco.

And then there’s this….

(It’s not pretty, but I have to show someone besides Tim)


Have you ever seen a bruise quite like that?  And in that location?!  I mean, this picture doesn’t do it justice because it’s BRIGHT baby-blue – pretty much the color of my shirt, only brighter.  It’s really hot.  But don’t you worry, you can have one, too!  Just squeeze your arm in between a gate and a fence, and it can be yours!  (Remember when I did that, mom and dad?  THIS was the result!)

And that concludes this installment of needing-to-clear-some-photos-off-my-phone.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Just remember to keep your arm clear of wooden gates…


Happy Birthday, my love.

29 Aug




Happy Happy, my handsome man.

3 years.

24 Aug


Yesterday Tim and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary by going to a spa in Sonoma.  We submerged ourselves in  hot springs, then spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool.  It was luxurious.  We haven’t spent that kind of time together in a long time and it was really wonderful.  I had planned on writing a post to my love (hi love!) on that day, but I decided maybe I should just spend it with him instead.  Besides, at this point I honestly don’t think I could ever express how much he means to me in words on a screen.  The way that he loves me, the way he makes me laugh and holds me when I can’t, how he challenges me to be a better person…I never knew it could be like this.  2 of our 3 years of marriage have been spent battling with my body and grief, and our marriage has grown tremendously as a result.  Even though he won’t admit it, there have been some tough moments between us through all of this….but in the end, it has made us so much stronger.  I couldn’t be more thankful that he’s the one by my side.

I love you with all my heart, Tim.  Thank you for everything you’ve done for me in the last three years and for sticking by me through all of this.  Let’s make number 4 a good one.

Changing my dreams.

20 Apr

Growing up, I always figured I would get married and have two kids. I have just one sister so it was natural to want a family exactly like ours. That dream changed quickly when I met Tim.  Early on when we approached the subject of having children, he admitted to me that he didn’t want to have another.  As much as I loved him, I called it quits. Having a family was too important to me to continue on in the relationship if that wasn’t in his plans. The “break-up” didn’t last long because he said he would be willing to discuss it, and that we did. I loved him too much to just give up. Besides, he was an amazing father to K, and it was his fault in the first place that I wanted children. In fact, up until I met him I wasn’t even sure I wanted them. But as soon as I saw him with his daughter, it was over. I had finally met the man I was going to have a family with, and I wouldn’t be okay with that not happening.

Fast forward two years and Tim wanted a child with me as much as I did (sometimes I think even more). At that point, I’d come to realize I would be fortunate enough to have just one with him, so I started trying to switch things in my mind a bit and became okay with a smaller family. After all, our son or daughter would already have a sibling.  In essence, I’d have my family just as I had pictured it…only slightly different what with the whole other woman’s child thing.  (Minor detail.)

Except, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that in my heart, I have never been able to let go of the thought of having two natural children of my own. As much as I’ve been trying to fool myself into thinking I was okay with just one, I’ve been planning ways to convince Tim to have another all along, and we hadn’t even started trying for our first.

We married and only waited a year before I got pregnant the first time around.

These miscarriages? They weren’t in the plan.  They’ve changed everything.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was still convinced we’d be having two.  But things have started to change dramatically for me.  The longer this takes, and the fact I will have a higher chance of miscarrying again in the future because of my history, I’m just not sure I can go through this all over again.  I have started to only desire one child and feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying for more.  I know that could change the second I hold my baby in my arms, I’m aware of that. I just feel like if I succeed at this, I will be extremely grateful for just the chance to have had one, I’m not sure I’ll want to press my luck for another.  If I can avoid this pain again, I will do everything possible to do so.  Besides, I just don’t know if I have the strength for this battle all over again.

I’m hoping my maternal desire will be fulfilled with one.  If it’s not, I have these pages to remind me of what I went through to get there.  And if I still choose another child over the risk of having to go through this again, I just pray I have the strength to make it through to the other-side.

Have you had to change the way you always envisioned your family because of your struggle with infertility or loss?  If you’ve experienced pregnancy loss, do you think you could do it all over again after a successful pregnancy?  

* Tim’s desire to only have one child is purely monetary.  If we were wealthier and could provide a comfortable lifestyle for more then one child, it would be a no-brainer because we’re going to make really cute babies.  

It’s all the moon’s fault.

22 Mar

Can I just say, I sure hope these two ladies are the start of a trend around here and it starts spreading to all of us.  I just told Tim that another one of is pregnant (I almost wrote “fell” pregnant, why do people say that?  That’s the oddest thing.  Wait, do people say this, or do I just say that?), and the farmer that he is just said that it’s because of the full moon.  When I responded by saying, “But there’s a full moon every month,” he clarified by saying that it’s the closest the full moon has been in a long long long time.  I know, that was a really scientific answer…but still!  Maybe there really is a trend that’s starting!  Can we just imagine for a moment what that would be like if all, what, 179+ of us bloggers all “fell” pregnant at the same time?  Even those of us not actively or even inactively trying (ahem)?  As much as I want that to be the reality, I think that would be a whole lot of hormone to deal with and I’m not sure the world is ready for that.  Plus, I think those of you that are getting pregnant, you need some of us to help you through it.  But, it sure is fun to dream.

I have to say, I honestly couldn’t be happier for them and for everyone that’s going to follow in their footsteps.  I’d be lying to say there weren’t brief pangs of sadness initially, but then I remembered who these women were.  They weren’t the random people who accidentally got pregnant while still breastfeeding their last baby that we so love to hate…they’re one of us. And I can’t take that as anything but hope.

But let’s talk about something else besides reproducing for a moment, shall we?  How about dance parties for a subject, eh?  Okay, lets.

Saturday night Tim and I really wanted to do something fun with K (for those of you new here, K is my 7-year-old step-daughter).  We had thought about going bowling, but decided we’d rather not spend the money and that we should come up with something to do at home.  Game night gets old after a while, and man, if I have to sit through another G-rated movie, I might poke my eyes out.  So Tim came up with a brilliant idea to have a dance party!  I stepped it up and decided I’d make some cupcakes to make it that much more festive.  We didn’t tell K our plan, but she knew I was up to something in the kitchen, so we told her she just had to wait until after dinner and after she did her reading for the day,* then we promised she’d be given a very fun surprise.

While they were reading I created a dance mix that would last us well over an hour.  When she was done reading, we told her she had to go get dressed up, we were going to a party…but that she couldn’t come out of her room until we came and got her.  Tim got out a bunch of candles and I made us some Manhattan’s and K a Shirley Temple, and we changed into our party clothes.  We started the music, grabbed all three drinks, and opened her door to welcome her to C—–‘s Family Dance Party.

She jumped right in, no warm up needed.  And we had a blast.  I even showed Tim and K classic moves like the Shopping Cart and the Sprinkler.  Yeah, I’ve got moves.  The only thing we were missing was the Catepillar (I’m looking at you, S).   We even had an air band in sunglasses to All Night Long, with me on the drums, and K and Tim on dualing guitars.  Guys, I’m pretty sure we were as good as AC/DC, if not better.  We seriously rocked, and it was definitely the highlight of the evening.   We continued to dance, eat cupcakes and drink our festive drinks until the music ended and our bodies were tired.  K even decided we should do this every 3 months.  And I think we just might.

What’s that?  You want pictures?  Well, they may be blurry and dark, but let me not disappoint:

Not sure what I’m doing here, but it looks HOT.

Mmmm.  Maker’s Manhattan.

And this is what I was wearing…please pardon the dreadful lighting by my mirror in my bedroom.  I swear I’m not a crackhead.  And if you could see what that skirt looks like, you would swoon.  It’s lace!  And, it impressed a 7-year-old with it’s twirl-ability!  What more could you want in a skirt?  Oh I know!  I got it for 12 dollars at a consignment shop.  BEST SKIRT EVER.  Perfect for dance parties in your living room.

I think we’ll make it a tradition.  You should, too.


*She has a mandatory 25 minutes of reading she has to do every day per her teacher’s order.  She’s in 2nd grade and attends a Spanish-speaking school.  She reads 25 minutes in Spanish!


I’ve never been lucky, anyway.

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Unfortunately, I’m no longer Irish.  No, I didn’t give it up for lent (I’m also not Catholic), but I did spend most of my life thinking I was Irish until that got taken away from me last year (I’m looking at you, Mom and Dad!).  My parents decided around Christmas time to research our family tree and as a result, we found out we were French (more recently, French Canadian!  Ladies, I’m one of you!) on one side and English on the other (shocker) .  Um, so, not at all Irish.  Oops!  At least I got away with claiming it having been a fair skinned and red-cheeked my whole life and having a sister with red hair.   But I am kind of sad that this year I can’t claim that I’m Irish.  At least I can still drink a Guinness.  You can’t take that away from me!

I thought I would share with you some of the pictures from our trip to Yosemite.  I was going to make a little movie for you to watch but the motivation I had for that earlier went somewhere and I can’t find it any more.  Let me know if you find it out there somewhere.

So let the photos begin!

The central valley of California is made up of mostly fruit and nut trees.  Right now they’re almost all in bloom and it’s gorgeous.  We were in a moving car, so this is the best shot I got of them.  But they’re beautiful.

Tim drove so I had ample time to take pictures of myself.  Good times.

Once we got into the park, we headed straight to the slopes so Tim could snowboard.  But on the way we stopped to see this.  It’s so ugly.  I couldn’t understand why everyone was stopping to look.  Blech.

Then we drove up to see the snow.  Yay snow!  I was so excited to see it (I know so many of you are rolling your eyes at me right now…but I’ve had my fair share of snow in my life having grown up in Maine.  And now that I don’t live where it snows, all I want is snow.  THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER.  Unless it’s covered with snow.)  Tim was the lucky one who got to go snowboarding (you can’t leave your dog unattended inside the park)…but I had a lovely time walking around and sitting on the side of the slopes repeatedly giving people permission to pet my dog.

This guy right here might have been the only one happier to see snow.  Only he doesn’t look it right here.  But that’s because he’s not in the snow and some jerk put him in the car.

This was what the jerk was looking at.

On the way back down the mountain, we happen to catch this.  Another terrible eye sore.

We got to our hotel and this was the view from our balcony (also, this is the anxiety-inducing river I mentioned yesterday).

In the morning it was still there and hadn’t consumed our hotel.  This is apparently my happy face (and bed-hair).

Then we explored the park some and stopped to see this.

Can you believe how dreadful Yosemite is?  I would never recommend going.

See how unhappy we were?

Fortunately, when it was time to go home the next day, the sun had gone away so it made it a little easier to tear ourselves away from our balcony.

I really didn’t want to leave.  I have such a hard time coming back to reality.  I wonder if there will ever be a point where my reality is so blissful, I don’t ever want to escape it.  I truly hope so.

If you can swing it, you should check out Yosemite.  You know, if beautiful nature is your thing.

Now go kiss someone Irish.  Or French Canadian…either one.


14 Feb

I have to say, I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s a combination of being single for most of them in my adult life and also having to work in restaurants on the day for the past gazillion years…and the stress of that day in a restaurant setting takes all the fun out of it.  In fact, the second time I saw Tim he came into the restaurant I was working in at the time on Valentine’s Day and I was a hot mess (and not in a fun way).  He had brought his daughter in in his arms and her sweet cherub face was buried into his jacket.  She shyly handed me a heart with stickers on it that they had made together hours before.  I didn’t realize it at the time because I was so stressed and didn’t have time to process it, but I’d say that moment right there was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.

A year later we were engaged (almost to the day).  And 6 months after that, we were hitched.

There are a thousand things I want to say about my husband and how amazing he is.  But the only thing that keeps coming to mind when I think about him right now is: I love you.  I know it’s played out and that people say it all the time, but after this year and how much we have grown as husband and wife, it keeps repeating in my head over and over: Tim, I love you.  And sometimes there’s nothing else worth saying when that explains it all.  You are my best friend, my lover, my rock, my heart.

I love you.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

The ladies in our little corner of the blogsphere have all decided to post pictures of our weddings today if we’re married, and pictures of non-weddings if we’re not.  If you want some more romance today, go check them out, too (thanks to Elphaba for the list!):

Valentine’s Photo List:
1. Elphaba at Yolk
2. Mo at Mommyodyssey
3. Heather at Survive and Thrive
4. Bridget at Our Stork Got Lost
5. Aramelle at One Wheeler’s World
6. jjraffe at Too Many Fish to Fry
7. Jen at Violetta Margarita
8. AP at My Dusty Uterus
9. Christina at Two’s Company, Three’s a Family
10. Steel Lotus at Jagged Steel Lotus
11. Marie at Bakery Closed Until Further Notice
12. KKasun at The Road Less Traveled
13. Amy at Maternal Hope
14. Ashley at Traditionally Non Traditional
15. Hope at Invisible Mother
16. Artist Mouse at Artistmouse’s Blog
18. Metholic at Metholic’s Blog
19. Sarah at Fertility Frustration
20. Cookie at Cookies with Milk
21. Kerrik at Uncommon Nonsense