Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I love celebrating full of hope and anticipation as each new year approaches. I imagine the next year bringing lots of blessings and happiness. But 2009 was certainly, without a doubt, a tough year for me. We had some fun on our cruise and our trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and we had a wonderful Christmas (more on that later). However, the year was full of it's share of trials. I don't know whether or not I've grown as a result of the trials I've gone through (and am currently going through), but I sure hope I have. And, frankly, I hope 2010 is a lot nicer to me. I can't hardly wait for the year to begin.

Joe and I are planning on playing games and snacking all night. Last year, I don't think we even made it to 10 pm, so we're hoping we can make it to the big 00:00. I went to the grocery store to grab some snacks, and ended up with a VERY full cart and over $160 lighter wallet (with over $100 of savings). I got home and plugged in the freezer in our garage, throwing a lot of my spoils into the freezer for future use. Just a couple hours ago, I got a 10% off coupon in my email for purchases today through the second, so I'm hoping they'll let me apply it to my purchase today.

I have a long list of resolutions for 2010. I have written them in the journal I take with me to church each week, and I'm hoping that reviewing them more regularly keep them forefront in my mind. I may add more as the year progresses, and some will definitely have an ending date prior to January 1, 2011 or beyond. I'm contemplating starting a side-project blog as part of a resolution idea I'm still throwing around in my head. If I do, I'll be sure to link it here.

I know 2009 wasn't a bad year for everyone, but it does seem like a lot of people I know are glad to see it gone. Whether or not you feel it was good to you, I hope you have a fantastic 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Debra Needs Psychotherapy

While I was growing up, my family had several traditions that they followed throughout the year. One tradition I complained about all the time was going around the neighborhood and singing Christmas carols to people who know me. The horror! And when we were younger, our parents made us bring along the instruments we could barely play to torture us even further.

So I decided I wanted to start some new traditions with Joe that we can torture our kids with every year. Last year, we took a cheesy Christmas photo of us and our kittens, and we decided to make that a yearly tradition. We went out of state for Christmas last year, and I was able to spend some time with some of my bajillion siblings. One of my older sisters said to another sister, "Did you get Debra's Christmas card? I'm worried about her! She's turning into Mom!" My oldest sister laughed, pretty sure the picture was in jest, as she told my other sister her opinion. But although my siblings were hopeful, I think they were a little nervous that the picture might not be a joke.
We went even cheesier this year, thanks in part to some AWESOME finds at the after-Christmas sale at Target. And yet I have found myself checking in with people I have sent the photo to, just to make sure they know we weren't serious.

Merry Christmas!
From the Crazy Cat Lady

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Christmas Letter conundrum

After barely surviving yesterday mentally and emotionally, I am faced with the task of writing our Christmas letter. However, I'm finding this task to be especially hard this year. In fact, I think I may have to review my blog and journal entries looking for positive things to write, because other than the cruise in June and visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, there wasn't much I remember about 2009 that I liked. Man, I can't wait until I can say goodbye to this year!

Do you think it is okay if I mention some less-than-positive things that happened this year? I think I'm going to leave my miscarriage out of the letter, but I am leaning toward writing about losing my job and the cats getting fleas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Ever since I have been married, I have regained enthusiasm, and even love, for the end of the year holidays. I get excited about Thanksgiving and find myself reflecting on all the things I'm grateful for and all I've been blessed with in my life. Then I indulge in some of my favorite foods (and I haven't been stuffing myself the past few years, so that's good).

This year, we went to Arizona for Thanksgiving, spending it with most of my family. We arrived on Thanksgiving day, stayed in a hotel by my parents' house for 3 of the 4 nights of our trip, and flew home early Monday morning. Friday morning, Joe and I had a room service breakfast (we had $150 credit to spend at the hotel). Then Joe dropped me off at my parents and drove to Mesa where he Joe went out to lunch with his friend Jacob, Jacob's wife Becky, and their newborn baby. The adult girls and two oldest nieces went out to lunch at Carlos O'Brien's and then shopping at the mall. Later that night, Joe and I went with my sister Lisa and her husband Tom to Chili's for dinner and then saw The Invention of Lying at the cheaper theaters. Saturday, we had breakfast at Sonic and then drove around a while before meeting my friend Erin, Jacob, Becky, and their baby for lunch at Oregano's. Afterward, we took a nap at the hotel before heading to my parents' house to figure out what the plan was for that night. The adults went to dinner at PF Chang's and then Joe and I headed back to our hotel room (after trying unsuccessfully to reach my old friend Kelli to meet up).

On Sunday, we headed to church and then hung out at my parents' house before going back to the church building for the baby blessings of my two newest nieces, Sarah and Kate. There were sandwiches and plenty of goodies to eat while we chatted with some extended family before heading home. So, it felt like a lot of the trip was centered around family and food, and that was quite alright with me.

Right after Thanksgiving is over, I'm more comfortable with the Christmas music playing everywhere, and I find myself choosing to listen to it and enjoying it immensely. When we got home on Monday, I popped in some of my own Christmas CDs and we start decorating. Now that I've experienced having a real tree, I'm okay with going back to a fake tree. This year, I also had some unopened decorations that I purchased after Christmas last year to enjoy. We even had a brand new, pre-lit slim tree (but I must admit that I'm disappointed by it).

Joe put some hooks up around the house previously, so he put lights up with ease this year. He even put some hooks up on the second story this year to hang lights from. And we now have a large star on the side of our house and a wreath on our front door. I picked up a few additional decorations and extension cords at Target and have been slowly finishing up the decorating (figuring out where to put what). I'm definitely in the holiday mood!

I still have some Christmas goodies I'd like to bake. And I have been enjoying watching Christmas movies (many made for TV on the Hallmark channel) and shopping for Joe. I told Joe I wanted to have a couple gifts to unwrap this year, as last year we just opened boxes from Amazon as they arrived, and it wasn't the same. So he wrapped a few gifts for me and put them under the tree, where they sat for less than a week. On Friday night when he got home from work, he insisted I open one gift and then gave me the option of opening a second gift. The first gift I opened was a wii workout game, so I figured I might as well open the other gift (figuring it was the wii itself). Joe purchased it used from a friend for a good price and set it up.

We had a busy day Saturday, without any real opportunities to try the game out. So this morning, Joe turned it on and tried out the game. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and I was amused at his "explanation" that he was trying to get me motivated/interested in playing the game by demonstrating it for me. Ha ha ha

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Yummy Recipe

I'm not sure where it originated from, but my mom has been making this for Thanksgiving in the more recent past, and I love it. This is saying a lot, since I'm not a big yams fan and such a picky eater.

Texas Candied Yams and Apples

3 large apples
1 stick margarine
2 large cans yams (drained)
3 Tbls. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
Miniature marshmallows (opt.)

Peel and cut apples in wedges and place apples & cut up yams in a 9 x 13
inch casserole dish. Mix cinnamon, sugar, cornstarch and salt in
saucepan and add water and butter. Boil together until dissolved and
pour over yams and apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. If desired,
put marshmallows on top and return to over for 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Monday, November 9, 2009

If you don't have something nice to say...

I know it's been a while since I've written, but I feel that I have a reasonable explanation for it. Someone said I always complain. I knew he wasn't correct, but it sure got me thinking. And so I decided to make a conscious effort not to complain so much. When there isn't a whole lot positive to write about, I've chosen not to write.

However, writing itself is very therapeutic to me. I've been writing more these days in my personal journal than I have on my blog. But I don't get the understanding, empathy, feedback, etc from private entries.

So, I've decided to write something in hopes that someone might be able to help me. And even if not, it's nice to get it out, put it out there, and hopefully be able to move on to my NaNoWriMo writing which has fallen quite behind.

I feel so left out and lonely. I'm a member of a church that puts quite an emphasis on family, which I think is great. I love my siblings, and my heart breaks when I hear of siblings not getting along. I'm quite an emotional person and have always been. I get overcome with emotion and cry, but not always because I'm sad. I heard some children singing at church a couple weeks ago, and my heart was full of God's love for them, and I cried like a baby.

I have a large family and large extended family, both by birth and by marriage. Plus, I feel like I also have a church family. But I don't feel like I fit in there. Sometimes, I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. The desire of my heart is to have a child. I cry about it and pray for it so strongly. I think I see something that is a sign of pregnancy and tell myself not to get my hopes up, because my heart will just break. But I can't help it. Sometimes I feel like I will never be complete until I am a mother. And, to be perfectly honest, it hurts to hear people gushing about their kids, pregnancies, etc. I am happy for them and want to be, but it also serves as painful reminders that I am not there myself. I wonder if I will ever be.

I have told Joe that if I'm not pregnant by the time I'm 30, I would see a fertility specialist and possibly start the adoption process. But I have decided not to wait until then, and I'm working up the nerve to see a fertility specialist now. And I'm terrified about it. It just doesn't seem fair to me that pregnancy seems to come so easy at times to people who may not even want it, when there are people out here like me who would LOVE to have children.
So I have tried to find ways to distract myself from my sadness and pain. I have been reading and watching TV and writing and sleeping and (of course) looking for a job. But they only work for short periods of time before I'm feeling restless, hopeless, frustrated, and/or alone again. Sometimes it's hard to be positive or look on the bright side of things.
Photo courtesy of David Smith

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm an Examiner!

I feel like I'm an official author now. I know I have a long way to go, but I got hired by to be the Seattle Infertility & Miscarriage Examiner. You can check out my page here and leave a comment if you feel so inclined. I've got my first article published, and I'm going to try to write 3-4 a week. I get paid based on how many people read my articles and things like that, so there isn't any guaranteed salary. We'll see how it goes and how I like it. In the meantime, I'm still looking for a part-time or full-time job and excited about NaNoWriMo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Writing and Facebook and More

I think I'm done with Facebook. However, despite the reasons I want to quit, I kind of feel bad doing so, so maybe I will go back to it. I have a while before they permanently delete my profile (and all I have to do to cancel that request is log in), so I'm doing a lot of internal debate about whether or not I should give it another go. I was *thisclose* to deleting my account a while back, but I think I want to more now.

While at the writers retreat earlier this month, I received some inspiration. After a long day, I returned with my roommates back to our cabin and fell asleep quickly with my headphones in and iPod playing. I woke up not too long after to lots of loud laughter that the music could not drown out. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but I couldn't, and my curiosity got the best of me. So I eventually got up and learned that a lizard and then a mouse had scampered across the floor of our cabin, alarming some of my roommates (and I don't blame them-- I would've been freaked out if I'd have seen it and probably would've been freaked out anyway if I wasn't so tired). But they were starting to calm down about the time that I decided to get up, so they headed to bed and I tried to go back to sleep myself. But as I stared into the darkness, sleep eluded me. Then ideas started running through my mind. I grabbed my notebook and started writing them down- first in the dark and soon by the light of my cell phone because the ideas wouldn't stop coming.

I felt great and was able to fall asleep after I got all the ideas on paper. This lead to me deciding that I should participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year. However, because I am writing about myself and not fiction, I'm not quite following the rules (which classifies me as a rebel but won't get me kicked out or anything). I'm really excited.

And in other news, I got an email from my ex-best friend. We haven't talked since before I was married and before she was married (I don't remember exactly when the last time was). I'm not one to carry a grudge, and I've found myself often wondering how she's doing. I haven't called her (she included her phone number with the email), but I did send her a short email back and haven't heard from her. Why did she contact me? She didn't really say in the email. So I'm wondering if it's something she wants to talk about only over the phone.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick, then sick again, then sick again

I had a great time at the writers retreat. It helped re-motivate me, and while I was there, I was inspired for a book idea. So I am going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again and put that idea onto paper. And, unlike last year, I have a solid idea this year. So when the month is up, I'll actually edit the book and (hopefully) end up with something I think I'd like to submit for publication.

I was a little worried about going to the retreat because I was sick for close to a week before the retreat and wasn't sure that I was even better, but I was determined to go, and I felt okay while I was there. I heard from Joe while I was on my way home from the retreat, and he was sick. So I took care of him the next day and ended up sick again. I didn't feel as sick last week as I did the week before, but I was definitely off. I woke up feeling a little nauseous yesterday but decided to go to church anyway and felt okay after I started getting ready. However, today, I'm not feeling so great again. I've had a little bit of nausea, but right now, it's a bad headache and a sore throat mostly. I hope it's not strep!

I have some ideas of things I'd like to do with my blog based on some information we talked about at the retreat, and I would like to put them into action, but I'd like to when I start feeling better.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Writers Retreat

I'm going on a writers retreat in about 1 1/2 weeks. I'm as excited about that as I am to go see Wicked this week, I think. I have to make sure that I figure out what writing I want to work on while I'm there (we'll have time for that) because I'm sure I'll be feeling motivated.

I've thought about a few different ideas for books, but nothing is really screaming out to me to be written (except the ideas I've already started), so I'm still pondering. I really want to write a good young adult novel. I don't know if I'm creative enough. And I also worry that people will bash my writing just like they do Stephanie Meyer. If I write more "adult" or "sophisticated" novels, will they still appeal to teens? Will they still be novels that all ages can enjoy? That's what I'm aiming for. Balance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fed up

A handful of days ago, Marie noticed a couple fleas on her leg. This was the start of my personal hell. I had noticed the cats scratching themselves a lot around that same time, and I can't say I'd noticed that before, but I figured I was probably just being paranoid.

Anyway, we started out with spray for the house and spray for the cats. And we quickly added flea collars for the cats, which we were quite surprised they didn't even try to get out of. We also quarantined them in Joe's old office... but the fleas were only part of the reason for that. Apparently, one or both of the cats decided to stop using the litter box. Is it related to the fleas? I don't know. But when they're quarantined with their litter box, they both use it.

Saturday, we locked the cats up in the garage and bombed the house (I'd thoroughly vacuumed it on Friday but there were still some). This still hasn't quite taken care of the problem. So, more vacuuming, more spraying, more itching and scratching, more bites on the feet. And now, we're trying other things we've read about. I have a few bowls of soapy water on the ground, which are catching some fleas, but not all of them. I read that putting a candle in the bowl at night will draw the fleas to the light, so we'll try that tonight. And then more vacuuming and spraying every day until I stop itching.

Joe is getting bitten a lot more than I am, and looking at his feet and lower legs, he almost looks like he has chicken pox or something. Poor guy. We're all irritated over here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I am boring

So, I know I have neglected this blog. That's partly due to a couple things: 1) I now have an online journal, and I get reminders if I haven't written in it for a few days, so I'm more constant in writing there, but I often don't want to put all of what I've written there into a blog or edit it, and 2) really not much exciting is going on in my life.

Also, this isn't a reason why I haven't written, but maybe a reason I feel inclined to write today (although maybe I shouldn't be because of this reason): I am so bummed right now. I'd say I'm depressed, but it's really more of an isolated incident (today) than an ongoing feeling. I've been taking advantage of time I'm not employed to look for jobs while reading books and watching way more TV shows and movies than a person should. But it gets old sometimes. I want to shake up the routine, and I've been trying to do just that as money and my mood will allow.

Marie finally moved in with us, and we love having her here. Hopefully she likes staying here and will continue to do so until she finds a place of her own on her own time frame. She's a great roommate and helps with the dishes (which I absolutely HATE doing, so it's a super bonus!).

And about the same time, I got some pizza sauce on a couch cushion (I'm so naughty for eating pizza in front of the TV, I know). So I took off the cushion cover and threw it in the washing machine as soon as I realized a little upholstery stain remover wasn't doing the job. But when it came out, it was all torn up. So we figured that was our sign it was time to get a new couch. I've wanted one for a LONG time and the condition of our couch seems to continue to get worse and worse... so we got one. It required us to tighten our purse strings, so to speak, but we now have a fluffy, comfy microfiber couch and matching loveseat in our family room. Unfortunately, they are a little bigger than they should be because of the size of the room, but we're going to make it work anyway.

We were supposed to head to an overnight campout with some people from church, but Joe had to work about 14 hours yesterday (and figured he spent about 4 hours in the car), came home with a car that was overheating as he was driving home, and had to work a longer shift today. Even though we haven't gone camping since we've gotten married and I *love* camping, I let him off the hook, saying we could cancel if he wants to. After all, I'm sure he doesn't want to spend an extra couple hours in the car today to get to the campsite just to turn around tomorrow to drive home in the early afternoon. So we have worked out a compromise. We're going camping in our living room! I'm actually pretty excited about this for some dumb reason. But I'm hoping it'll be romantic (as romantic as we ever are, lol) and memorable. And I even bought stuff to make S'mores and roast hot dogs over our fireplace fire (I still have to make sure we can start one, though). Hopefully our cats won't be too annoying tonight!

So, the reason why I'm having a bad day today is job-hunting let-downs. I figure I must be doing something (or everything???) terribly wrong, but I am not sure how to improve or fix what is keeping me from getting interviews or getting noticed, especially when it's regarding jobs I *really* want and *really* feel qualified for. I sat down last week and wrote what I thought was the best cover letter I've ever written, but I haven't gotten a response about that job. Or I'm being told people more qualified are being chosen for interviews (via email form rejection letters) when I just don't understand how I could appear more qualified than I do from my resume. Or I have to go to website after website filling in that particular company's application online (and that is loads of fun, let me tell you) just to never hear from the company again. Or I call a company to follow up on the status of my application and get treated quite poorly. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm trying not to start feeling down right before Joe comes home (whenever that might be) so I can be in better spirits for our "camping trip".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bring on the laugh lines

On Tuesday, Joe and I went to the $2 theater (movies are only $1 on Tuesdays) and saw Night at the Museum 2. We enjoyed the silly movie well enough. There were some jokes that the kids in the audience were laughing loudly at, and it made me think about how much more fun and entertaining innocence is than being an adult. Sometimes I feel like I have all but lost my imagination, and that's too bad. It's like things that used to be amusing or otherwise entertaining are somehow beneath me because I'm an adult now. Psh! I am giving myself permission to be immature more often. I think I'll laugh more that way.

On Tuesday night, I went with a couple girl friends to see The Time Traveler's Wife. The movie was a unique, interesting story that reminded me of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in some ways. It was nice getting out of the house and spending time with some friends. I don't feel like I do that nearly enough.

I got home from the movies and tried to go to sleep, but I tossed and turned and wasn't able to sleep (probably because I had caffeine during the movie), so I left the bedroom to read without disturbing Joe. While I was in the living room, I moved some furniture around, trying out different arrangements, and I decided to rearrange the room. I enjoy the new setup much more than our last one, but we had just put up some paintings which will now need to be rearranged as well. Oh well! I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep for a while still, so I finished reading a book I got from the library. I think having all the time to read has been one of my favorite things about not having a job. I have read over 20 books this year and hope to read several more before the year is over.

So the job search is back on and I'm trying to be optimistic about everything, but I like the idea my mom had when I talked to her some time back, "Well, Debra, maybe you aren't supposed to work." Now if I could figure out how we can get by on just Joe's salary without feeling like we're sacrificing too much, I'd be alright. But if I have to work, I think that I might like to figure out some ways to make income from home (or put to practice some ideas I already have about that).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rat City Rollergirls

Joe and I have been keeping ourselves busy. Joe had his work evaluation and did extremely well on it. Unfortunately, there is no raise associated with it, but hopefully he'll have opportunities to advance down the road that his current work ethic is helping with. He has also had some work tests and has had to switch his shifts up on occasion lately because of coworkers' injuries/illnesses. Meanwhile, I had my first job interview since being let go. Unfortunately, the position is only part time, is far from home, and doesn't pay very well. In fact, I would be making less money from that job alone than I make currently in unemployment. Still, I wanted the experience of a job interview, and it was actually kind of nice to get dressed up after so long of not having to.

We are continuing to experiment around the house with different placements of furniture, artwork, and other items, and it is finally starting to feel like some things are where they "should" be. For example, I purchased some Snapware containers, and used them to help organize some of our kitchen cupboards (some still need organization). Joe is happy that our family room now has a coffee table in it. I am hoping that we can find a good coffee table for the living room that will help pull the room together and make the couch and love seat feel less distant from each other.

Joe started reading the first Harry Potter book after much persuasion from me, and although he's not too far into it, I'm hoping he likes it enough that he'll continue reading the books, and then we can watch the movies together. After all, I have been so excited about the new movie that is out, and I would really like to see it ASAP. If I plan on watching it in the theater, however, I will probably have to go by myself or with a friend.

On Friday night, I went to see Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago play at the WaMu Theater underneath Qwest field (or so I was told that's where we were). I got the ticket for free from a church friend and had a great time. I wasn't around for many of the years that Earth Wind & Fire came out with hits, or I was too young to remember them, but I still recognized a handful of their tunes and enjoyed their stage presence and energy. The concert started with both bands coming out on stage all at the same time to perform together. It was really weird to see 20 people on stage at once, all performing and switching from one person to another for the "center" of attention. There was so much to see and enjoy. Then Chicago left the stage and Earth Wind & Fire performed alone. Once they were finished, there was a little break before Chicago performed. And finally, at the end of Chicago's performance, Earth Wind & Fire joined them on the stage again.

Yesterday, Joe and I were quite busy, but we had a pretty good day. We started out the morning a little earlier than I would have liked to, especially since I didn't get home from the concert until well after midnight, but we had a yummy reason to wake up. We made 2 packages of bacon and then headed to a breakfast potluck at the church. There was a really good turnout, and we had a good time socializing. Then we went grocery shopping before coming home. Joe pulled weeds from the back yard for about an hour, give or take, while I applied for jobs online. Then we relaxed a bit before starting to get ready for the Rat City Rollergirls roller derby game in Seattle.

We gave ourselves a little more than an hour to get to where we needed to be, but we didn't realize the Bite of Seattle was going on all weekend at the same place. Driving was chaos, but it wasn't too hard to find a parking place. However, after we parked and started to walk toward Key Arena, we ran into group after group of people standing in lines, talking, or enjoying various food, and it was after time for the game to start. So, unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to sample any of the food, but we had a fun time at the game.

Neither of us had ever been to a roller derby game before, but we watched the Rat City Rain of Terror take on Portland Axles of Annihilation. The Rain of Terror was severely beaten and we were kind of bummed until we realized there would be a second game shortly after the first one. The second game was the Rat City All-Stars versus the Carolina Rollergirls, and the quality of the action was far superior to the first game, which was a non-sanctioned game. The players had amusing names such as Valtron 3000, Anya Heels, and Wile E. Peyote. There was a brawl that was quickly broken up, one girl on the other team grabbed hold of another girl's teeny shorts and almost depantsed her, and the home team won. We were pretty hungry by the time the second game ended, but the Bite of Seattle was already over, so we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner before heading home and calling it a late night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

As a follow-up to my last blog entry...

I just printed out some wonderful coupons I was emailed over the last few days: a free slice of pie from Shari's (it doesn't say a purchase is required), 500 Bonus Reward Points for Fred Meyer, a free 16 oz. blizzard with the purchase of another 16 oz. blizzard at DQ, two free bottomless beverages with the purchase of two Gourmet Burgers at Red Robin, and a free steak dinner with the purchase of an entree at Black Angus. Woot!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Free stuff for your birthday (and other free stuff and discounts)

I recently had my birthday and enjoyed a few things for free, and I heard a little later than I would've liked about other birthday giveaways. So I figured I'd start a compilation here. If you know anything free that you'd like me to add, feel free to leave a comment. I will edit this as I find out more information:

Baskin Robbins has a birthday club. I got a free scoop of ice cream for my birthday. And they also send occasional emails with coupons. I also got a $3 coupon off an ice cream cake.

Dairy Queen has a sign-up that asks for your birthday. I just signed up, so I'm not sure if I would've got something for free for my birthday, but for signing up you can buy one blizzard and get one free.

Black Angus has a "Prime Club." I signed up the other day and got an email with a coupon and another that said, "Sorry we missed your birthday. Here's a steak on us." Sweet.

Red Robin emails a coupon for a free burger on your birthday, and they also email you coupons throughout the year. Joe and I got a free appetizer for no apparent reason not too long ago.

Denny's has a breakfast club I just signed up for. They say they email you offers, and for joining, I received a 20% off email.

13 Coins in Seattle has a dining club you can join for a fee. But Joe and I ate there in December and filled out a comment card (we REALLY liked the food), and since then, I received a letter thanking me for my comment, one for a free dessert for our anniversary, and one for a free dessert for my birthday. We haven't gone back yet, but we do plan to.

Shari's also has an e-club. I'm not sure yet what this entails, but it does ask for your birth month and says you'll receive birthday mailings.

And while looking for other fun birthday stuff, I ran across this list compiled by someone else: Birthday Deals and Discounts.

I also remember being told when I was in Arizona that a local theater let you see a movie for free for your birthday. I don't know if that's available here or where you live, but that might be something worth looking into.

A lot (if not all) of these require some sort of registration first, and if you are worried about spam email, set up a free email account through Hotmail or Yahoo or some other free hosting site and use that email for your registration. Also look carefully at what boxes are selected before sending your registration to avoid 3rd party emails. Then be sure to check your email for your email deals!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm so emo right now

Joe and I were watching something the other night where a girl made the comment that she was so emo at that moment, and I told Joe that I say that about myself sometimes.

Yesterday was one of those days. I am so grateful for my mother and the example she has played in my life. Being over a day's drive away from her, I don't get to see her very much at all. And that saddens me. There was a period of time after college where I would go to my parents' house every Sunday after church and enjoy a wonderful dinner. This was great for me because I would otherwise be left to my own devices, and that could've gotten very ugly very quickly.

But then life happened and those weekly dinners stopped happening. They still happened on occasion, and birthdays or other celebrations were often the cause of the get-togethers with whatever family could attend.

Now I don't have the luxury of just driving to my parents' when I miss them. And I don't get to see any of my siblings more than maybe once or twice a year (some less than that). That's really hard on me. Really hard.

So yesterday, I was thinking about my mom and my grandma and all my siblings who are mothers and all my friends who are mothers. And I was so emo. I felt a heart-breaking longing in my heart to be able to be called a mother. But I have to remember that it's not my time table I'm working under, but God's. Often, when I want something, I want it NOW, and this has been something I've been thinking about and wanting for quite some time.

I am so grateful I have such wonderful examples of mothers all around me, because it helps me not miss my mother quite as much when I can see the same kind of love from others toward their children.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I have $50

We had a credit card through Bank of America that we used to purchase some non-essentials. And it had reward points, so we started using it to purchase some essentials and then paying it off so we could rack up the points.

I didn't know what the points were for and Joe said it was stupid stuff, but after getting a letter from B of A that they were going to raise our APR, we decided to stop using the card and close the account so we could keep our old APR. And I wanted to use the points before they said we wouldn't be able to anymore.

So we found the website and decided that a gift card was the best route to go. Yeah, we could've had them send us cash, but we got more credit versus cash, so why not? We picked out a gift card to I LOVE Joe's a fan too. We each get $50 to spend, and I'm just trying to figure out what I should buy with mine.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

I want to be a magical piano player someday

Joe is finally out of the army! Hooray! He had his last training drill in April, turned in all his equipment (except the uniforms and other items he gets to keep), and got his last reservist paycheck. They are supposed to invite him back to an award ceremony later where he will get a plaque and coin and "some other stuff." He is happy to be done, and I am happy that I don't have to spend one weekend a month without him. :)

We sat down today and looked at our budget. Since I have lost my job, I have been able to temporarily relieve us of some ongoing bills until I am able to find employment and get paid again. We consider ourselves very lucky that we are able to get by without me having this job. It has been tough almost all year because of my being sick, but not having any extra money from my job (and now not having any extra from the army) coming in, we are going to have to make only a few slight modifications in our expenses while I'm unemployed.

And this gives me hope that someday I might be able to be a stay at home mom. Of course, with kids come added expenses, but hopefully Joe will continue to find opportunities to advance in his field, and maybe I'll be able to start making some money myself teaching piano lessons or something like that.

This past week, Ashley (one of our cats) had to be taken to the vet because of "the pirate eye" (Joe's words). By the time I took her to the vet, her eye was mostly better, with only some slight swelling and discharge. The vet thought she might've run into something (I do that all the time, just not usually with my eye!) or been scratched when wrestling with Sandy. She is back to looking healthy again (about $40 later) and back to wrestling and getting into mischief.

We had stake conference this weekend. Joe and I were amused by one of the speakers last night, who didn't enunciate her words carefully and ended up pronouncing words in ways that we found rather humorous. For example, instead of saying effort, she said what sounded more like "effret" and "mugician" instead of either magician or musician (I'm still not sure which one she meant). Then she made up words like "Ecclesiastics" as a book from the Bible and "favoritist" and "story tells". It's a good thing we were sitting toward the back, because I couldn't stop laughing at a couple points, and I would've been distracting to many more people than I was if more people were behind us.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I probably shouldn't be writing this...

But I am feeling heartbroken. Every time I play with kids or hear about someone having a baby or being pregnant, I am filled with the heartfelt desire to join the ranks of motherhood. And even though I'm TTC right now, there is an emotional toll on my body and spirit as I have negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test. I worry I won't ever be able to experience being pregnant. Even if that is the case, I WILL be a mother. No matter how long or what it takes, I know I will have an addition (or more) to my family. Still, it is hard. Almost every day, I feel left out. I am praying for strength and guidance.

And my heart breaks when I hear stories or witness a child being mistreated. Yesterday, what I witnessed in line for 31 cent ice cream at Baskin Robbins wasn't criminal but still heart-wrenching. Children are precious! For those of you who are fortunate enough to be parents, cherish your children!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gots to get paid!

I just filed for unemployment. I feel all dirty now.

I don't know why... I guess I just feel like it means I've failed at life or something. I'm still looking for a job. I'm still applying for jobs. But I haven't heard anything back about any of them. So I keep looking, and at the same time, I try not to worry.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My life is fairly boring

I just realized I haven't written for a week. I just don't have much of anything interesting to write about.

I have applied for several different jobs. No responses whatsoever. The only people who have contacted me about jobs are those offering sales/commission jobs. No thank you!

But I keep looking and waiting. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying spending time with friends and Joe and watching TV and reading. I am keeping busy, more or less.

And I am getting random occasional surges of motivation to lose weight, eat healthy, or do some intense cleaning. When I feel that way, I run with it. Friday, I walked about 7.5 miles. Yesterday, Joe and I did a lot of yard work together. And I also shredded several years worth of pay stubs and other mail that Joe had accumulated. I found some interesting pieces of mail, including a trust check for over $300 from 2003. It, like much of his mail, had never been opened. I also found the graduation announcement for my masters program unopened.

I knew he was a bit of a pack rat when I married him, but I didn't know the full extent of it. Tsk, tsk.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Joe got arrested!!!

Luckily, Joe is making enough money that we aren't freaking out too much with me having lost my job. After all, this whole year, I haven't worked a whole lot anyway. But we're still able to pay the bills. Things are just tighter than usual. However, last night we were able to go out to dinner. And it was for a good cause.

When Joe got home from his army training, we headed to Red Robin to eat. There were several police cars outside, one with flashing lights. As we walked toward the restaurant, we were greeted by a police officer who handed us an envelope we could use to make a donation to Special Olympics. The cops also had a booth set up outside the restaurant where they were selling shirts and other various items to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Right after getting inside, Joe was greeted by one of his friends who happens to be a police officer for the city. They served in Iraq together, and Joe has seen his friend around town several times while his friend was on duty. In fact, a while back, Joe even did a ride-along with his friend, which fell on quite the adventurous shift.

When Joe ran into his friend, his friend and a couple other officers were escorting out two smiling kids by handcuff, announcing they had captured the bad guys. Joe's friend said hello and said, "Oh, we're coming for this one later!"

So as we sat down to eat, another couple at a table near us was cuffed and paraded around the restaurant and out to the cop car. Then Joe was picked up for "impersonating a security guard." His picture was taken by the car with his friend (I'd post it but it was not high quality film used and the picture didn't turn out very well). Then he was released and came back to the table to eat.

It was quite an interesting date, and we were happy to spend a little money for such a good cause.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Casper, the extra-friendly ghost!

I just wrote and then deleted two blog entries on two different subjects instead of posting them. Why? Because they were terribly boring Debra-did-this, Debra-did-that. So you don't have to wonder why you wasted your time reading as much of the blog as you did before deleting it, I started over. You're welcome.

Instead, I decided to present the Ghost Sex Story (which I alluded to in a previous post). But a little background first.

I used to work at a cubicle next to someone from a small town in New Mexico. His mother still lived in that small town, and for kicks, she would send him links to their newspaper's online crime blotter. Sometimes reading those stories was downright funny and entertaining. I felt bad that some of the things going on were things the police actually had to deal with as part of their job duties.

And now where I live, I feel like I must live in a place that has some small-town feel. I get a paper delivered to our house 2 times a week. Reading the police crime blotter can be quite entertaining. Joe and I (or at least our house) were referred to in the paper twice, once in the crime blotter and once as a separate article (both dealing with theft/attempted theft).

But as I perused the paper at the end of the year, an article caught my eye. It was about the top stories of Federal Way in 2008. And one of the section headings caught my eye. So here it is, unedited, from the Federal Way Mirror, without further ado:

Ghost Sex (April 19)
The following is a sample from the Federal Way police public information log:
At 4:02 p.m. April 10, two women went into the Federal Way police station claiming that over the past two years, a paranormal person has been placing sensors on their bodies and visiting them in their house at 28600 block of 25th Place South.
They said that the ghost has been having sexual intercourse with them. One woman said that these incidents started in Kent and continued when she moved here. The other woman said that this just started now.

Reading stories like that make me miss my job working with adults with serious mental illnesses. I heard some great stories then, but usually there wasn't a second person to give merit to the tale.

I wonder if the ghost prefers a certain sexual position. I wonder if the ghost engages in foreplay. I wonder if the ghost makes any faces or noises. And I wonder if the ghost does house calls.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taco, burrito, what's coming out of that speedo?

I am a picky eater. I used to be a lot pickier. I didn't like mushrooms or strawberries because of their texture. I like both quite a bit now (because of their taste). I threw up once at an amusement park after my parents forced me to eat a lunchmeat sandwich that had mustard on the bread (at least I warned them that I would puke if they made me eat it).

My pickiness often didn't jive with my mother's cooking and my father's strictness. I remember being stuck at the dinner table one time when I was quite young, sitting with gristle in my mouth because chewing it wasn't doing the job, and I wasn't allowed to get down until it was gone. Someone asked me what I was doing, and I told them I was waiting for it to dissolve.

Other times, it wasn't that I couldn't chew or stomach what I was being forced to eat, but it was about the quantity. My eyes were often bigger than my stomach. I would come home from school to soggy cereal my mother had so kindly saved for me to finish because I couldn't in the morning.

Oh, we had tricks to get away from being stuck at the table. There was the food-in-the-napkin trick, which we sometimes could get away with but didn't count on. Or we would save some of our milk and spit our broccoli into the milk, hoping it wouldn't be noticed. I was apparently the most creative in my family. I hid my food in different locations. A portion of a hamburger was found behind our organ. I think I pulled that one off more than once, though. Food was flushed down toilets (yes, the I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom excuse worked for me). And one time, I guess I was worried about the food clogging the toilet, so I smashed the remnants of my taco underneath the bathroom rug.

I was a little hellion at times. I think when I have kids, I'll just let them lave their food behind. And maybe if we have lots of leftovers, I can make some interesting shakes or soup or even pea pancakes like I once had to eat for breakfast. That's more fun than trying to win at hide-and-seek with food.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Free at last, free at last...

I got fired yesterday. It's not like I didn't see it coming. But I just couldn't bring myself to go back to work. The thought of potentially having to clench my butt cheeks closed and hold that pose until finishing a conversation, just to high-tail it to the bathroom for a drive-by spraying held little appeal to me when I woke up yesterday. So call me crazy, but I called in sick.

So around 2 pm, my supervisor called me and announced that so-and-so from HR was on the line with him. That's when any doubt I might've had about the nature of the call was gone. He said that because I didn't return to work yesterday per our previously agreed upon terms (ha! but more on that later), they were going to have to let me go. It was a very short call.

And I felt relieved. I'll explain that more in a little bit, but first some background.

I've been sick with digestive problems (after having 2 colds in a row) for weeks. They're slowly improving. Very slowly. I started taking acidophilus capsules and I think they might be helping, but I don't know if it's that or just my body fighting whatever ails it. I've been in contact with my supervisor to let him know what's wrong. I didn't feel bad about missing work when he reassured me that there are some things that you just can't work while suffering from in my job title. I mean, my job was to speak to person after person after person on the phone, 30 minutes give or take at a time, for 8 hours. Maybe I'd get little breaks in between, but with the new cigarette tax laws going into effect April 1st, the company has been busier than ever.

I haven't been vomiting for a while, and the nausea I had seems to have gone away as well. No, I'm not pregnant. I just went to the doctor's office yesterday for a final test while I had insurance to pay for it, and they confirmed that. Anyway, I received a call on Tuesday from my supervisor. He said I had two options: resign or come back on April 2nd. Well, neither of those options really sat well with me. I told him I spent every day hoping I would get through the day well enough to return to work the following day, but I wasn't lucky enough to feel secure that I could get through the work day without incident. I told him I wanted to return the next day (April 1st) but didn't know if I would be able to. Well, the call ended up with him saying he'd see me on the 2nd, and me wondering if he would.

Obviously, he didn't.

But yesterday, as I was perusing through my Facebook profile, I realized just how many times I'd been sick in the past several months. I realized how stressed I had really become because of my job. And I realized just how much I'd hated it. It hadn't been happening since January, like I'd previously thought. I had been having issues way before then.

It's not like the job is especially difficult. However, you do have to find out what it is that a supervisor wants you to say and do in each call, which can often be quite subjective, even though they say it's not. And then you have to form your calls around what you think someone wants you to say as the call continues versus what you really want to say or think might really help someone quit smoking. For me, being a trained therapist who knows there are many more counseling techniques than just motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, to say I could only draw from these kinds of things was frustrating to say the least.

I was out of my element in that job. I was overqualified. I was unmotivated and unchallenged (honestly), which created a lot of frustration. I found myself time and time again suffering from deja vu. And I often had to stop myself and think: 'Did I already go over this with this person, or was that the last person I was talking to?' That's how repetitive my day was.

So I'm glad to be gone. I went into my home office and pulled out all things associated with my job. I put several inches worth of paper into our recycling bin yesterday, and I shredded several more pieces of paper with personal information on it from the job. I haven't thrown away everything just yet, either. For the time being, I kept my medical insurance information and HR information. I'm not sure why, but I think I might look over it, and maybe I'll know why I saved it or I can get rid of it then.

The funny thing about all this is how free and calm and unstressed I felt after getting fired yesterday. My mind cleared up and I knew what to do next, things I hadn't thought about before. I went to my doctor's office to order refills on my prescriptions while I still had insurance. I cancelled the phone line I'd had to dedicate to work. I sent out some emails and made some calls. And today, I feel great. No upset stomach. No acid reflux. No stomach cramps. No diarrhea. I am free.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Medical update and miscellaneous

Yesterday was an unusual and event-filled day. It started out with me calling in to work, as I have been doing basically this whole month because my digestive tract just isn't cooperating and/or getting any better. I had a couple unexpected but welcome guests from church, one being my friend Stacy. Stacy volunteered to run some errands with me and even treat me to lunch.

We ate some delicious soup and sandwiches at Panera, which I've wanted to check out since moving here. And we each spent way more money at the grocery store than either of us was planning. I picked up some acidophilus capsules, which was recommended to me by my doctor.

Then I talked to my supervisor to give him an update. I wanted to let him and the company know that I'm not just flaking out on them but really am sick. The problem is that I don't feel sick enough that I shouldn't work at all. I just feel too sick to do my specific job. It would be quite inappropriate for me to put someone on hold to go to the bathroom 2-4 times during my shift. And since I spend all day at work on the phone, that's a problem. I wanted to double-check with him about putting people on hold, because a part of me was hoping he'd say it would be okay for me to do that if needed. But it's not. So I'm still off work for the time being.

I told him that I'm typically feeling okay around noon until evening. I asked if I might be able to pick up some hours during that time. He said he would email his supervisor today and get back to me on that. So hopefully I'll hear something from him soon. However, when I got home from running errands, I wasn't feeling okay during that time frame. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I do need to let him know that maybe that's not the best idea (assuming the company I work for is okay with me working during that time anyway, that is).

I got my referral letter to a GI specialist yesterday, so I called to set up an appointment. After getting a busy signal twice and then being put on hold for several minutes, I was told the first available appointment is in May. So I scheduled it, but I'm betting (hoping) that I'll feel better by then and may very well just cancel the appointment. Looks like it's up to my body and the acidophilus to get me back on track. And maybe I won't ever know what's wrong.

In other news, Joe had a friend who would often make snide remarks to emails Joe would send him. He'd tell Joe that the jokes weren't funny and would be a douche about the way he said it too. And he'd send his thoughts to everyone Joe sent the email to, which often included me or was just me. Now, Joe is much better at controlling his temper than I am. He would just ignore these snarky comments. I would read them and then delete them in disgust. But on Tuesday, this person sent an email that really bothered me. I had difficulty sleeping Tuesday night as I thought about all the different ways I could and wanted to respond. I kept thinking, "I doubt Joe will say anything, but I know this bothers him. It hurts. And it hurts me to see someone treat him this way." I had talked with Joe about the comments his friend had made, and so I knew that I wasn't the only one who had taken things that way.

So I decided to email that friend yesterday. I requested that if he planned on continuing to talk to Joe in that unnecessary and rude way to please leave me out of the email. He responded with a rude, condescending comment to me. I responded as nicely as I felt I could be while being firm in my intentions. I was met with a criticism about my character, and so I called him out on his passive-aggressive, condescending, immature, belittling behavior and said I was done with the conversation.

Well, he didn't want it to be over, so he shot back another comment that equated to I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I and said in so many words that I should talk to Joe before giving what I interpret to be Joe's opinion. His defense was that he has always treated Joe like that. First of all, I didn't write to him about anyone's perception other than my own. But secondly, I DID talk to Joe before I emailed him. So I again reiterated what my request was and stated it was based on my observation of his tone.

I had let Joe know about the interaction by that time by forwarding him the email chain. His friend decided to bring Joe into this chain after my last response, and there was some back and forth between the two of them while the women from church were over that basically led to Joe's friend ending their friendship after saying Joe hadn't been a friend to him for years.

I feel so bad that Joe had to go through this. It reminded me of when my relationship with my once-best-friend ended. Even though the friendship had run it's course and neither of us were getting out of the relationship what we thought we should, it was hard. So I am sure that Joe is having a tough time with this. He talked with a co-worker about it yesterday to get an outsider's perspective, and his coworker was very upset about the exchange, saying his friend was being rude to both Joe and to me. So Joe and I feel confident that we were honest and as objective as we could be about things.

I used to counsel people who were attending an online school. One of the things the company required us to discuss with new students was to be careful of their tone in emails/posts. You may not mean something, but sometimes because the way you say it, your message comes across differently than you'd intended. I was glad to hear that Joe's friend did not mean offense with his response (as he said he didn't), and I told him that. The lesson I learned through all this is not to hold something in if it bothers you. Either confront it or let it go. Otherwise, like a gaping wound, the infection will fester and cause far greater damage than it would have, had it been dealt with in the first place.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Joe and I have been married for two years now. On one hand, it doesn't seem like it's been that long. But on the other hand, I have a hard time remembering life before Joe.

We're happy and things are going well for us. We love each other more and more every day and get closer and closer. We enjoy spending time together watching movies or TV shows, playing games, or doing whatever together, whether it's cooking or cleaning or talking or laughing or something else.

I love you, Joe. Thanks for sticking with me. I look forward to spending forever with you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I can stop trying?

I have had a lot of time to fill, being off work so much this year. Well, in boredom, I stumbled upon the Game Show Network. I have watched some episodes of shows like Pyramid, The Weakest Link, Family Feud, and some I'd never heard of before like Lingo and Chain Reaction. It sounds like I'm watching tons of TV, but I'm really trying not to.

Anyway, I was watching an episode of Family Feud last week, and a topic on there really bothered me. It went something like this: "Name something a woman doesn't have to do anymore after she gets married."

I was thinking of things like pretending to be interested in what someone is saying on a bad date, having DTR (defining the relationship) talks, going to a friend's wedding solo, spending weekend nights alone in front of the TV with Ben & Jerry's feeling sorry for yourself, flirting in a desperate attempt for some attention/affection, etc.

But the answers were much different. They were things like: cook, clean, wear makeup, work, exercise, etc. What??? Maybe I'm wrong, but now instead of worrying about myself, I have to worry about what he's going to eat too. I don't eat out every meal, or even half the time, so I'm cooking just as much, if not more, than I was when I was single. And cleaning? Are you kidding me? Instead of doing my own laundry, now I'm doing laundry for two. And instead of just having to clean up after myself, now I have to clean up after two. Wearing makeup? Yeah, I was never that big into it, except when going out somewhere nice. Otherwise, I'd just throw a little bit on to try to even out my skin tones or something. So there's no change there. Work? Yeah, because all men do is take care of the women of the world who sit around at home or volunteer. You don't think stay-at-home moms are working??? My mom worked SO hard with us! And when you're chasing kids around, driving them to various appointments, cleaning, cooking, etc, don't you think that's a form of exercise?

Anyway, the feminist in me was very upset about the sexist and untrue stereotypical answers. I started to think about the things men stop doing after they get married. Here's my top ten: (Disclaimer: this is in jest more than serious)

1. Cooking
2. Cleaning
3. Being discreet about nose picking, farting, and other bodily fuctions that are less than appealing
4. Planning things
5. Remembering important dates of friends and family members
6. Grocery shopping (if he ever did that in the first place)
7. Buying toiletries and other necessities
8. Going on dates
9. Pretending not to be selfish in physical/sexual relations
10. Taking proper care of hygiene

What would make your list for men and women?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I went to the doctor's office yesterday after being sick about 2 weeks. I had to get a note for work, but I also wanted to figure out what's wrong. It seems like it's been one thing after another all of 2009, with a few days respite in between.

I have to collect and turn in a stool sample (I'm so grossed out just thinking about doing that) and get my blood drawn today. They're going to run a bunch of tests. Apparently there was an e. coli outbreak in my city sometime in the not-too-distant-past that I just heard about Sunday. And so I'm paranoid about it being that. But with all the salmonella news, my doctor wants to rule that out as well. Or it could just be some other kind of bacterial infection. Whee!

So the first step to getting better is finding out what's wrong. My doctor explained that if I have one thing and take antibiotics, it might make it worse. So they're trying to figure out if they can identify what it is before recommending a course of treatment.

I have worked ONE day so far in March. I got a doctor's note with a tentative return date of the 23rd. I checked my work email yesterday and noticed that I have to work an extra 10 hours the month of March as well. So when I get back into the swing of things, I guess I'm really getting back into the swing of things (whenever that might be)!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What should I get...?

I have been thinking quite a bit for about a month, give or take, about what I should ask for from my husband for my birthday. He was SPOILED beyond belief on his birthday, so I expect the same in turn. But when I think about some big items I want, I can't make up my mind. So I was hoping maybe you could help me with this decision.

One thing I really want is a massage. I've already told him that. I've only had one professional massage ever. But I wouldn't mind a massage from his cousin who is in massage therapy school over something professional (cheaper too!).

I broke my laptop a while back. I miss it dearly. I have been thinking about getting another one, or maybe a smaller notebook that would feel more portable. I originally got my laptop with the main purpose being for writing. I ended up using it for a lot more than that. It wasn't too expensive, and I don't think I need one that costs a whole lot since I have a desktop. But it's nice to have that portability.

Or I was thinking that a massage chair might be nice. Or maybe just a massage chair pad (that'd be cheaper).

Or a trip to Arizona before it's too hot there. That'd be nice for both of us, but I don't know if he can get time off work. Plus it would be pricey. Or I could go over a weekend while he's at drill in April.

Or an elliptical machine or a treadmill. I'd prefer an elliptical machine because I have bad knees, but I know he likes treadmills more (and I've heard they work your body better), so I'd be willing to get something like that as a compromise.

Or a punching bag. I've wanted one of those for a long time. I don't know where we could hang it, so we'd have to get a stand or one that goes ground-up versus a hanging punching bag. I want one that is at least fairly resistant and fairly heavy versus a hand bag (I think that's what they're called).

Or maybe a spa day and overnight in a nearby hotel. Maybe we could do a mini Portland vacation.

Or maybe a new stereo for my car. That is long overdue.

I let him buy himself a car stereo. He got a good deal, but it was still fairly pricey because of the installation costs. Then we took an overnight in a hotel in Bellevue and went to a nice dinner. And I got him a book and video game also, I think.

Decisions, decisions. At least I have time to make up my mind.

I feel like The Biggest Loser

I've never watched the show The Biggest Loser before this season. What drew me to it? I honestly don't know. Perhaps it was this season's theme of "couples" that drew me in. Most "couples" aren't actual couples but relations. Still, it was nice seeing the husband-and-wife team (they were the first kicked off) and the future-husband-and-wife team (they were the second kicked off) on the show. It gave me hope. I don't look at my husband as "fat" or anything, and he is in pretty good physical condition (thanks to his job and the army). But let's be honest... we could BOTH stand to use a few lbs or more (much more in my case). Yet I find it hard to do when around him. It's not that he purposely sabotages me or anything, but we both love junk food... he's a bigger salt guy and I'm a bigger sweet gal, but we both have more than our share of both.

So I watch these people who started out about my same weight (or close enough, anyway), and they're losing weight and I'm still thinking, 'this person has a way to go still' and they weigh less than me. Yes, I have a way to go myself.

And this week's episode really hit home to me for some reason. There was one team, clearly superior to the other and overly cocky. I was rooting for the other team kind of secretly, because I like rooting for the underdog. And the cocky team won. They won a challenge and a reward, and they still ended up winning after being gluttonous for 24 hours during that week. Then the always-losing team had to vote someone off. Last time they had to vote someone off, they sent their strongest player home. Dumb move. Dumb, dumb move. This week, they sent another very strong player home. Dumb move. But why? Well, because 3 of the team members had been on a team since the beginning, and they refuse to vote against each other. One is a mother-daughter duo, so of course they aren't going to vote for either of them, but the third person is a man whose lack of weight-loss has resulted in his team being up for elimination TWICE... he is CLEARLY the weakest player there... yet he is still there. He should've been sent home when the teams were re-formed.

But that's not what hit home... the thing that hit home to me was the fact that the person who was sent home had worked her BUTT off that week because she was going head-to-head against the strongest member of the other team, and she was worried about losing to him. She did. But she didn't just lose to him. She GAINED weight. In that week of her eating healthy and working out hours each day, she gained 2 pounds.

Her team and trainer were clearly shocked when she was weighed. She was devastated. And then the explanation the trainer gave was that she was very stressed that week. Stress.

Knowing how stressed I've been and how sick I've been and how irregular my periods have been and how my mental health has suffered and how my motivation is low and my cravings for comfort food are high and how sore my muscles have been and how messed up my sleep has been was not enough for me. SEEING how stress effected someone else who WAS not sick and DID not have some of the other issues I have right now, however, was enough. It hit home. Stress can take its toll.

Yes, I've KNOWN stress was probably a major cause for some of my ailments, if not all of them. And I've HEARD that thrown out as an explanation by doctors, friends, family, etc. And I've read articles and articles and lots of information about how to manage stress, but I just can't seem to find the real answer for me.

I mean, if your job is super stressful, maybe it's time to find a new job. But when that job hunt lasts for months and months and ends up turning into 2+ years of looking for really suitable employment-- something that REALLY matches your personality and skill set, THAT's even MORE stress.

I made a list a couple months ago of my stressors. Then I looked at what I could control and what I couldn't control. I've been trying not to stress about those things outside my control and focus on those things that I do have control over. But "don't stress" is easier said than done, and looking for a job is just an example of me working to change things within my control that may have added to my stress levels.

Now instead of skipping just about every other period, I've lately been skipping two in a row. Now instead of feeling sick one or two days a month, I'm feeling sick all but a handful of days each month in one way or another. I've had 3 colds, each lasting several days or more, in the past 2 months. I've also been sick to my stomach, had migraines, digestive problems, and other illnesses.

So, what I'm doing isn't working. And I've learned that eating well and exercising may help to an extent, but that's not going to solve my problem either.

I think the next season The Biggest Loser starts, I'm going to start with it and go on their website and try to follow along. I thought about enlisting my husband or a sibling or friend as support. But if they aren't there, at least I won't feel like I'm doing it alone. My "couple" will be me and the Internet. But in the meantime, I'm not giving up!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Novel Idea

I was in bed but wide awake the other night, thinking about all the stories I could tell about working with adults with serious mental illnesses. They were kind of like my children in many ways. They needed support and guidance, and I was paid to help them in small but often memorable ways. Sometimes I felt like a glorified taxi driver, but sometimes I was able to see them accomplish something big or help them get through a tough time, and that job was very rewarding for me.

I started thinking about that job when I was comparing it to my current job. Yes, I still work to help people improve their lives. But a big difference is that I don't get to see the results of my individual work the way I did in that and some other positions I've held. Seeing results is important to me. Too important for my soul to go without. That's why this job I have right now is becoming so difficult for me.

Anyway, I thought that maybe I could write a novel (changing personal information for privacy and protection sake) about some of my experiences with adults with mental illnesses. I think it would help people get a little insight as to what it can look like for someone to have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, and other serious mental illnesses. I know having that job and experiencing the things I did opened my eyes up in ways I never could have imagined.

Sometimes I can be overly critical of myself and others. But I do know that I am here on this earth with talents and abilities given to me to help bless me and others. I'm grateful for the things, material and intangible, that I have been given and the compassion I gain with understanding. I think a lot of the judgment we place on each other comes from a lack of understanding, and so that job was a great blessing in my life.

If I wrote a book like that, would the subject interest you enough to read it? You can be honest.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Because Stacy Tagged Me

Crazy 8's

8 Favorite TV Shows
1. House
2. 24
3. Biggest Loser
4. Lost
5. How I Met Your Mother
6. The Reaper
7. Supernatural
8. Rules of Engagement

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1. Made dinner with Joe
2. Watched episodes from Lost season 1 (yes, I'm just now getting into that show)
3. Washed dishes
4. Washed laundry
5. Emptied the kitten's litter box
6. Helped Joe hang curtains covering our laundry room
7. Checked my email
8. Checked Facebook

8 Things I Look Forward To
1. My birthday. 364 days a year I look forward to it.
2. Spring
3. Spending time with my family
4. Having a baby some day
5. Getting my new dining room table & entertainment center
6. Getting a new couch for the family room
7. Finding a different job
8. Reading my friends' blogs

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. The Cheesecake Factory
2. Claim Jumpers
3. Red Robin
4. Chili's
5. RigaTony's
6. Oregano's
7. Buca di Beppo's
8. Carrabba's/Maggiano's (tie)

8 Things I Wish For
1. A new job
2. Financial stability
3. Motivation
4. Inspiration
5. Kids
6. Happiness
7. Good friends to have nights out/in with
8. Success for myself, my family and my friends

8 People I Tag
1. Emily
2. Amber (do it on Facebook as a note) :)
3. Karri
4. Heather
5. Scott
6. Crystal
7. Nicole
8. Becky

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I spoke too soon.

I'm sick again. Started not feeling well on Monday night and it got worse yesterday. I feel a bit better today but not much.

Joe is very supportive and understanding when I'm sick, which is a good thing. It's also a good thing that we can find ways to live off of less income when my pay is decreased like it has been the last couple months because of me being sick.

Someone left a comment on an old post of mine sharing her experiences with Zyrtec and side effects she's had with it-- it almost sounds like I could've written it (except she works out 6 days a week, lol). So I'm thinking I'll stop taking that. I was already thinking of doing that because it definitely isn't helping with allergy symptoms as far as I can tell.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Last week was a very long week. I had been sick up until about Monday, just in time to pick up some overtime/holiday pay.

I normally have Mondays off, but because I've missed about 3 weeks off work since late January from being sick and for my mental health, I decided I needed some overtime to make up for lost wages.

So I volunteered to pick up a shift on President's Day. That was the holiday, right? I don't even know any more. Joe had to work too.

So I hung in there all week long, even though it was hard to, because I wanted to make sure I made that Monday sacrifice worth it. I worked 48 hours but because of the way I'm getting paid, it's like getting paid for 60 hours of work. Score!

By the time Saturday came around, I was feeling emotionally dead on my feet (or really on my butt, since I sit at a computer all day), but Saturday was a really good day at work. I talked to a lot of really motivated people, and I felt good about the work I did.

Sometimes I hated my job working with adults with serious mental illnesses, because it seemed like I was putting in all this hard work and there wasn't anything to show for it. Sometimes this job feels the same way. Saturday, it didn't.

Joe and I celebrated Valentine's Day together with a trip to The Cheesecake Factory. Then we went to a furniture outlet store nearby to look at tables for our dining room. I am embarrassed to have someone over for dinner and have them sit at my puny table, so it'll be a nice change when we eventually do have a table that seats more than 4 people, and comfortably at that. I do plan on inviting people over for dinner then (I'm already forming a mental list).

Friday was another doctor's appointment. It was just a follow-up appointment from my appointment 4 weeks ago to make sure I was doing better. Well, I am doing better, just not 100%. I think that the discrepancies between where I am and where I want to be can be explained, however. My doctor did recommend scheduling an appointment with my OBGYN, which I plan on doing (I actually planned on doing it on Friday, but I didn't get around to it).

And yesterday as I was slowly waking up for the day (I LOVE that!), I FINALLY felt really motivated to just eat healthier and exercise more. I don't know why, but I'm taking advantage of it while it lasts. I had oatmeal for breakfast yesterday instead of the frozen waffles and applesauce or pancakes and syrup I was originally thinking about having. And after church, Joe and I enjoyed some salmon and rice-- it was quite good.

So I'm hoping this is the start of something that lasts and is good for me physically and emotionally. Maybe after I lose some weight my body will respond and I can get pregnant. Maybe my periods will start becoming more normal and I won't have to stress about that so much either. Maybe that's a lot to ask for, but today I'm optimistic. Finally.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I thought about not writing, because I don't have much to write other than to say there's not much to write.

Joe and I were sick all weekend (and most of last week too), so our Valentine's Day was spent on the couch watching movies together. On Sunday we pulled out the hide-a-bed and lounged on that.

Yesterday, he got me some dark chocolate candies and flowers as a way to say happy Valentine's day even though it was late.

We both worked yesterday. Mondays are normally my day off, but I got 8 hours vacation pay (YAY!) plus I volunteered to work for time and a half (YAY!). In addition, I qualified to make extra money for the month of February, so I earned yesterday what I would have working more than 3 normal days otherwise. That helped me get through the day.

Still, without going to church and being sick, it kind of felt like yesterday should be Friday or Saturday.

It was hard to work today. I just have to get through this one day at a time.

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday (just a follow-up from my last appointment) and it looks like I'll be scheduling an appointment with an OBGYN to beg for tests to find out what's going on with my body (with hopefully something that explains better and can be treated better than PCOS).

I'm finally feeling (mostly) better as far as this stupid cold I caught goes, so that's a good start!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I heard it doesn't snow much in Washington when I moved here. I heard it was something like once or twice a year, and it really wasn't a big deal when it was. I should've asked for a second opinion. That's what I get for trusting my husband!

Or maybe the last couple years have been really unusual. It's not like it snowed a whole lot last year, but I did have a couple scary/frustrating experiences driving in the snow. This year has definitely seemed odd. Not only snow that sticks and snow upon snow and black ice, but fog has come for days on end too. Weird. I blame the baby. You know, El Nino.

It's snowing now. I had no idea snow was in the forecast until I was taking my first fifteen minute break from working today and flipped on the news. It was snowing somewhere. I looked outside to see a snow-free lawn. It is snow-free no longer.

Time for some hot chocolate!

In other news, we had a couple windows replaced yesterday (I guess it was good it wasn't scheduled for today!). We even bought the installers some pizza. We're awesome. My idea. I'm awesome. Anyway, in addition to the windows, we had our french doors removed and a sliding door put in. Now we have the key to that door, so we can actually use it! Hooray!

We had to lock the cats into one of our bedrooms during the installation, so we moved their food, water, litter box, and toys into our guest room. We've decided to keep it set up that way. When the kittens were finally let out of the room last night and started wandering around downstairs, they didn't know what to do since they had no toys. Even today, when I went downstairs on my breaks, they would hang out around me for a while but then go back up to their bedroom. They are so spoiled! They're going to become such little hermits!

One of the windows replaced a broken window that was starting to get moldy and would hold condensation between the window panes. These are triple-pane windows with UV protection and energy savings, and GOSH it looks so much better than the do-it-yourself-job that preceeded it! The only problem now is our blinds don't fit anymore and there isn't as much of a window ledge for the cats to sit on (it was amusing watching Sandy's reaction as she tried to jump on the window ledge and didn't really have enough room to keep her feet firmly planted). So we've got to get some new blinds or curtains. Hooray for an excuse to go shopping!

But I think I'll wait until it's done snowing!

Monday, February 2, 2009

RIP Compaq and my weekend

So, I am paranoid these days due to events that have happened in my neighborhood. Every time I hear a noise at night (or even during the day), I wonder if someone is stealing my mail or trying to break in to my house. And when my kittens knock things over, tackle each other, or otherwise make a ruckus, my imagination starts to run wild with ideas of what the noise could be coming from. Did someone somehow manage to get into my house without triggering the alarm and they're now coming to kill me? Is the alarm on?

I heard a noise coming from my living room the other day. I made a mental note of it and continued doing whatever I was doing in my family room. But then there was another noise, and I knew the kittens were up to something. I hurried to the other room to investigate the crash, and I saw that they had knocked over a vase of roses that was on the coffee table. Or I should say the black cat knocked it over. I'm pretty sure it was Ashley, because she ran from the room (and from me) as quickly as she could. I chased after her, and every time I got close, she ran again. Meanwhile, Sandy just chilled by the scene of the crime.

Today there was a similar noise. I saw one cat bolt up the stairs, and then I saw the other cat running into the room I was in from the other direction (through the dining room). I walked into my living room to find out what the commotion was all about, and I saw Sandy peeking her head between two rails on the staircase, trying not to be seen.

Those kittens crack me up! It's hard to stay mad when they are so funny! I guess kids are like that too. I don't know yet, but maybe one day I'll be able to know the feeling of frustration/anger followed quickly by amusement and humor because of something they do.

I talked with my supervisor very briefly today and said that I decided to go back to work tomorrow if that's okay. He said it is (even though I was originally approved for 2 weeks off without pay), and I caught up (sort of) on my work email. That took forever. I was multi-tasking on my laptop (I complete work on my desktop), and I finally turned my desktop off, chatting on Facebook and reading through my personal emails and RSS feeds.

Then came a noise outside. Right outside my house. I'm not expecting anyone for a while, so I was nervous and curious. I got up to go take a look out the window, and I tripped over a cord for my laptop, pulling the laptop down on the floor and breaking it. My screen now has a display that looks like broken, shattered glass. Lovely. I hope I can recover the data on the hard drive!

Looks like I just made my decision as to whether or not I'll be working on Presidents Day. If I want a new laptop, I have to!

In other news, my car had difficulty starting on Friday. I took it in to the shop for a 90,000 mile check (only 13,000+ miles late), and everything is fine now. Joe thinks it might've been a spark plug (they were all changed). I wasn't having problems before, and it's running quite smoothly now, so I hope that was all it was. The guy at the shop said I need 2 new tires and an allignment, although he recommended getting 4 new tires. Joy. If it's not one thing, it's another. Or it's more than one thing.

I'm still waiting to see if medically things improve. I will definitely be calling my OB-GYN if my period doesn't come in the next couple weeks. I want more tests, and I have to demand some answers!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Granny Style

I'm kind of weird. I'm what I guess is called ambidextrous. I write with my right hand, but I do just about everything else with my left hand.

I had to teach myself how to eat with my right hand, because when there are 10 people crowded around a small table, you have to use your right hand. I still cut meat with my left hand, but that's not as big a deal.

Because all of my siblings are right-handed and because I write with my right hand, my dad was convinced I was not left-handed (even though that's how I often referred to myself). We didn't have a whole lot of money growing up. Going out to eat was saved for very special occasions, and likewise going to the movies or bowling or other kinds of activities that cost a deal of money for such a large brood.

When we had a day off school for a holiday, we did whatever my dad had in mind. He wouldn't often tell us about it beforehand. Instead, we'd just pile into the van and go wherever he took us.

When we'd go bowling, he was so determined that I was right-handed that he would not let me bowl with my left hand. Now, I'd try to throw the ball with my right hand, but it was an utter disaster. So I ended up bowling with the ball between my legs. Until I decided I was too old to keep bowling like that. One time, I threw the ball with my left hand in rebellion, against my father's demands. My mother stood up for me and my father, upset, stormed out of the bowling alley.

He walked the approximately 4 1/2 miles from the bowling alley to our house. And the rest of us stayed and bowled, but I felt horribly guilty for upsetting him. I wished I'd just bowled "granny style" instead of making him walk in the heat all the way home and ruining the day for us all.

To this day, I still feel frustrated when I bowl. I've learned that the balls are drilled for right-handed people, which puts left-handed bowlers at a disadvantage unless you bring your own ball. And I'm not anywhere near good enough to make up for that handicap. I guess that's part of the reason why I don't bowl much.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My New Neighborhood

I have been thinking a lot lately about life in Arizona versus life in Washington. I grew up in the same house I lived in until moving out for college, and my parents are still there. We knew most of the surrounding neighbors, and part of that was because many of them have been there for years and years also.

But when I bought my house in Mesa, it was on a street with a lot of other families. In fact, one time I counted the little patio homes and duplexes on the street and figured that there were over 60 on that one street! I knew I was safe in that house, even though I lived alone. There was almost ALWAYS someone outside of their house, and that someone usually included my neighbors across the street.

One time I accidentally locked myself out of my house around 10 pm. I saw lights on in their house and went and knocked on their door to see if they had tools I could borrow to pull off my screen door to get inside. They turned off their lights and pretended not to be home when I first knocked, and I continued knocking for about 5 minutes or more until someone finally came to the door. Well, they helped me out but it was with great reluctance. They were nice enough, but it was barely more than a "hi" in passing that was exchanged between us the whole time I was living there. Their daughter lived next door to me, and I was lucky to get a "hi" back from her. My neighbors that lived on the other side of me didn't seem to like me after an incident shortly after I moved in when I had yard work done while the man who lived there was sleeping in the morning hours (not too early). So, basically, it wasn't a friendly street.

But I understand that Arizona tends to have higher attrition than some other places. Especially my new neighborhood. People have lived here for years. Several of our neighbors are original owners too. The house we purchased is old, and the original owners and/or their family lived here until selling it to us.

So maybe people in Arizona don't want to invest as much into getting to know their neighbors or building relationships with them, because they know or think their neighbors will move away. Or maybe it is just the area I bought a house in that is like that. Or maybe it was just my surrounding neighbors. Maybe they just thought I didn't fit in.

But when we moved into this house, we were welcomed by friendly neighbors all around us. We got a plate of cookies and some hand picked home grown flowers from one neighbor. We got phone numbers for our neighbors and even some recommendations regardling local services. We invited the 10 closest neighbors over for our housewarming party. Most of them came, and even one who didn't come brought us over a greeting card and gift card to welcome us. We live in a pretty cool neighborhood.

To say thanks to our neighbors and for fun, we gave mason jars full of a brownie mix to them for Christmas. We got a chance to sit and chat with a couple of them while delivering the jars. And for the new year, one of them gave us a jar of homemade raspberry jam.

We enjoy our house, and this neighborhood really makes this feel like home.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reluctance to post

There are certain things I'm nervous about letting people know about for various reasons. One of those reasons is that I don't want it to sound like all I do is complain. Another of those reasons is because it's scary sometimes being so open and personal. So, what I do write is not always easy but is in a weird way therapeutic.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I'm still trying to find out what's wrong with me. Physically and mentally and emotionally I'm not feeling right. It's almost a regular thing for me to play this emotionally taxing game called Guess When Your Period Is Coming. It's not like a fun game where you win cool prizes. Rather, the prizes include cramps and mood swings. And while I'm waiting for the game to end, I stress. I usually give in about a week after my period "should" have come and get a pregnancy test. And maybe I schedule a doctor's appointment or contemplate scheduling one to find out what's going on. Or maybe I stress out about ways to reduce my stress levels, stressing that my stress may be causing this. But it is a guarantee that my mind will run wild with worst-case scenarios. Like, "I'll never be able to have kids. I have bad ovaries. Maybe I'm going through pre-menopause already. What if there's something horribly wrong and I'm going to die?"

So, that's part of what's going on with me. And then there's my expectations as to where I should be in life versus where I am. I'm making the same amount (or less)than I was in my last job in Arizona. And that was while I was still in school for my masters degree. I am not living up to my potential. I am grossly over-qualified for my job. And yet, because of this economy, I am unable to even get an interview for the jobs I'm applying for that I am qualified for. It's not like those pay very much, but at least it's a little more than what I'm making right now. And at least the jobs I'm applying for might be challenging and rewarding and fulfilling. Yeah, I'm unhappy with my job. That doesn't help matters.

And there are other things going on, but that's about all I'm comfortable talking about right now. I've realized just how hard it has been for me to move to this state where I really haven't fit in and haven't found the happiness and peace of mind I've been looking for. And everything is wearing on me so much. I don't know how much more I can handle. I'm hoping that one of these days I'll start getting the answers and help I need and job lead that'll take me in the right direction. And here's to hoping that comes before I lose all hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fun on my day off

So today is my first day off in a while. I don't have anything I "have" to do, but I have been productive so far. And I wish I had more time.

I slept in until about 5:15 or so this morning. Yes, that's sleeping in around here. Granted, I always wake up when Joe's getting ready for work in the 3 o'clock hour, but I easily fall back asleep when he leaves until my alarm goes off.

Realizing I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, I finally got up about 5:30. I wrote in my journal, checked my email, and made some lists of things I could do today. I also watched A Cinderella Story. I love Hilary Duff.

I went to Target, where I stocked up on household necessities like toothpaste, soap, shampoo & conditioner, toilet paper, etc. I also purchased a cheap camp stove so that if we lose power we can still heat up food. And, being proactive, I purchased some fuel for it too. I think if there was going to be a big power outage this year like there was a couple years ago, it probably would've already happened with the big storms we were getting around Christmas. Still, it's best to be prepared. And if I don't use it for that reason, I have something to take camping. Woot! I haven't been camping since I moved up here. I should take a Saturday off and go with Joe when it gets warm outside.

After Target, I went to this store called Shoes & Feet to look for shoe insoles. I got an expensive but nice pair of cross trainers there, and I realized that I need a little more support for the arches of my feet. But with a $60 price tag for the kind I liked, I decided to refrain and see if I could buy something cheaper somewhere else. On my way to another shoe store nearby, I noticed a Payless. I saw some insoles there, but they weren't near the quality that I figured would actually do anything for my arches. Where's Dr. Scholl's? I did, however, find a $10 pair of black tennis shoes (they were on sale). I have been looking for black tennis shoes for some time, so I was happy. I'm even happier that they don't have shoe laces for the kittens to gnaw at.

Next I went to the farmer's market for some zucchini (so I can make chocolate zucchini cake). I picked up a couple bananas while there too, so we can make some more yummy fondue (I have cuties and pineapple and strawberries and apples that need to be eaten!).

And then I went to Fred Meyer, where I spent about $100 on groceries. I saved some money due to sales and coupons they had, and I stocked up on things like $2 boxes of Cinnamon Life cereal and $1 orange juice containers (Joe drinks so much of that stuff!). Exhausted, I came home and put everything away. I realized I was overcharged for a sports bra I picked up at Target, so I'll have to go back there, which is okay, because I want to look for some jeans at a nearby store, and I'm going to check out another shoe store for insoles.

On my possible to-do list as well is walking and/or working out at Curves, donating some items to a local second-hand store, washing some laundry, and getting some birthday cards ready for the mail tomorrow. Plus, I also have on my list taking a nice bath and doing some reading and getting a pedicure. I was going to do that professionally, but I decided to save that money (and I spent plenty today already!) and just use my massaging foot bath and stuff I have here.

Hope you're enjoying your day! I know I am, and I'm not even being as lazy as I was thinking I might be!