Blog Post Pot Luck

I had a friend growing up whose family never had “real dinner” on Sunday evenings. They always just ate leftovers or made snacks or grabbed whatever random things they could find in the kitchen to eat. I always thought that was a little strange – probably because I care deeply for meal times; they are sacred to me. Just ask Dave who got the raw end of the “It’s time for dinner and you’re not moving your rear out the door to go eat” mood that I sometimes get in, twice this weekend. But as I get older, I understand the Sunday evening non-meal meal more. Sunday evening is spent best when you’re doing nothing productive. Watching The Muppets and eating graham crackers, or reading a book, or writing a simple blog post about nothing in particular… So, in honor of my friend’s random Sunday evening dinner, I’m doing a random Sunday evening blog post.

– I hung out with a lot of babies this weekend. 6 under the age of 7 months, to be exact. Don’t mind that one bit. They’re a cute bunch. Weirdly, I only held one of them. But she was so precious, it made up for not holding the others.

– I’m completely addicted to Draw Something (a game on the cellular telephones, for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet) and I go back and forth between drawings I’m especially proud of (sushi and Rugrats) and drawings that are the worst ever (funeral and Paris).

– I went to three social events this weekend! A new friend’s house, a birthday party, and a book club meeting. I’m not telling you this to be like, “hey, look how cool I am getting invited to THREE THINGS!” Because really, no – I’m definitely not cool. I’m telling you this because it’s a big deal for a couple reasons. 1) I read a book! Two and a half books, actually. I don’t often read books. I always have to tell people when I have read something so I can pretend like one those “smart people” who “read books” and can fit in with “discussions” about “things” and 2) I socialized with people I don’t know very well, which is actually pretty scary to me and I ENJOYED IT. Crazy.

– I started a new art journal this afternoon that’s very different from my other art journals so far. I’m sure I’ll get back to my normal style on accident, but I’m anxious to try some new things.

– Dave and I put an offer on a house on Friday. !!! It’s a 1930’s brick home with SO much historic charm and space (two things our current home doesn’t have a ton of), 2 acres, perfect location, hardwood floors and an old brick fireplace, a barn that used to be a meat locker (future home studio perhaps?), and much need of TLC. I’m a total pro at TLC. The problem is, we most likely won’t get the house because we need to do an FHA loan and it probably won’t be approved for FHA. So even though I love it and we still may possibly get the house, I’m already preparing to be sad about not getting it. Funny how my mind works like that.

– This week is the last week I work at a regular job on a regular schedule, and I’m about 40% nervous and 60% excited. Though those percentages sometimes flip flop. But I’ll have more time to do art things (yay!) and self-starting things (yikes!) and vintage baby clothes things (yay!) and nannying (yay!) and, well… LOTS of other things. It’s a good thing we decided a couple months ago to start doing better with our budgeting, otherwise I would be closer to 80% nervous and 20% excited and Dave would be a solid 0% excited.

Alabama

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Our time in Alabama was short, but very sweet. I had seafood and good conversation every day. I dipped my toes in the very cold ocean for at least 3 seconds, watched hundreds of waves wash onto the sand, and soaked in the hot tub with my parents. It was a quick couple of days; I already can’t wait for my next trip.

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Infertility Sucks! and Tips for the Fertile

Couple things. First, I don’t like it when people are uncomfortable around me. I’m a people pleaser to a fault and knowing that I’m making someone uncomfortable REALLY bothers me. Second, I’ve been getting a LOT of validation lately in sharing my “story” with infertility. When I don’t want to talk about it, someone asks. When I’m feeling private in my suffering, we have a weekend long camp about being honest with our struggles. When I’m pretending everything is fine, my hurt shows itself without my permission.

The past 6 months have been the hardest yet regarding my infertility. I have more hard days than easy days – a reversal of the previous couple years’ track record in which I had only a hand full of bad days all year. It’s starting to affect other areas of my life in several ways, ways I can’t understand and fix on my own. It’s alienating me from relationships that I really care about. It makes me feel angry, sad, pitiful, lonely, victimized, guilty, hopeless, annoyed, and other terrible things.

In a nutshell, it’s really sucky.

But this blog post isn’t about dealing with infertility on a personal level, though I hope those of you who are experiencing that pain can find some comfort in knowing you’re not alone; instead, this is a blog post about dealing with friends and family who are infertile.

So friends and family, this is for you:

I don’t want to be the person that you’re afraid to tell that you’re pregnant. I don’t want that for you, and I sure as heck don’t want that for myself. I know it robs some of the thrill from you to worry about the person who might be sad about your exciting news. But the honest, hard-to-acknowledge truth of it is, sometimes I am that person. I’m SO excited for you that you’re pregnant. Really! But also, it’s a reminder to me that I am not. Please know that I will share in your excitement as much as I possibly can. I will buy you gifts and love that pregnancy right along side you. I might have a moment of pain in the midst of your excitement, but please know it’s not your fault. It’s not my fault. It’s just the reality of our differences. Don’t be afraid to have joy around me.

I love to hear stories about your babies and your kids. The funny things they say and how awesome they are (and even sometimes how rotten they are) are a huge part of my life because YOU are a huge part of my life. Your kids are wonderful, and I agree with you! Please, don’t assume that you can’t talk about this stuff with me. You better believe that someday when I bring home my kids from Haiti or the hospital, wherever they come from, I will have stories about them too. But also, sometimes it makes me want to curl up and shut down because I don’t have that for myself. I don’t have anything to add to those conversations right now, and I’m aware of it more often than I’d like. If we are at a party together and you happen to notice that the conversation has been nothing but getting-the-kids-to-dance-class stories, my-kid-is-the-cutest, my-kid-is-the-craziest stories all evening, maybe try to change the subject on my behalf. I will be so appreciative.

And I can’t speak for all women dealing with infertility issues, but for me specifically, this one is more important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask me how I am doing that day. Ask me if being infertile makes me hate playgrounds or nurseries. Ask me how it makes me feel when people ask, “no kids for you, yet? Well why not?!” Ask me to babysit your kid, ask me to go to a baby shower, ask me if I spiral into depression every month when I get my period. Seriously. Ask me whatever you want. Ask me things you aren’t comfortable asking. I have got A LOT of grace for people who are trying to understand. I even have some grace for people who are NOT trying to understand.

Love,
Your Infertile Friend/ Wife/ Daughter

Beach Optional

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In just a couple of days, I’m going to be heading down South with my parents to visit my grandparents at their beach condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I’ve never been to Alabama before. What should I expect? Chandeliers and tea parties? I hear it’s very fancy.

When I hear “beach vacation” the first thing that pops into my head is “sunburn” followed closely by “fresh crab” and the buzzkill idea of sunburn is quickly whisked away by my dreams of sweet, juicy crab. The trip is only a few days long. We’ll get there Friday and leave Monday; but you better believe I will cram as much seafood into those few days as humanly possible.

To prepare myself for my seafood-a-thon, like those guys who enter eating competitions eat whole heads of cabbage to prepare, I made some (Imitation) Crab Salad/Dip. Mix the ingredients all together until you get it the way you like it. I’m not into technicalities, but here’s a general idea of the amounts I used if you’re one of those people who “measures” things or uses “recipes”.

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 pack of imitation crab meat (but if you happen to be at the beach, or you make 6 figures yearly, do it up, get real crab)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • juice from 1 lime
  • tsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeño diced very teeny
  • also: salt, a dash of pepper, garlic salt, and a pinch of cayenne

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Do you know why these pictures are so horrible? It’s because I made this crab salad at midnight. That’s how serious I am about my crab.

Ms. Distraction and Ms. Motivation Duke it Out

There’s this thing about motivation that seems very snobby. Let me explain.

For the purpose of this explanation, Motivation is a she. If you and Motivation are already friends, then she’s like, your BFF and you go everywhere together and hang out and whisper about all the lazy people together at parties. You know? But if you just met Motivation and you’re trying really hard to make her be your friend, she’s elusive. She might show up every once in a while to hang out for a few minutes, but then she remembers that you’re not her real friend and then leaves.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that feels this way.

So, motivation is an acquaintance and I’m trying to coerce into sticking around to be my BFF. I cleaned today, I finished a craft project, I ran some errands, did some laundry, and am now writing a blog post… but I keep getting this feeling like motivation is on her way out the door any second. Like, if I don’t spend every second convincing her to be my friend, she’s gone.

The point of this blog was to show you the cool craft project I finished though. Distraction is currently my BFF, as you can see. We’ve been tight since 6th grade when Distraction taught me that boys were more interesting than my mean teacher Mrs. Phillips.

Here’s what Motivation and I did while Distraction was in the other room hiding inside my new Wii.

And then Ms. Distraction got her feelings hurt, but it’s ok. She deserved it.

Painting Party

Every week, I “teach” a painting class for a very mixed group of painters. We’ve got a couple kids ages 2-6, a mom, a grandma, sometimes someone who had a stroke recently, and sometimes others. It’s such a fun, relaxing part of my week. Even if it’s only an hour once a week, that time set aside for nothing but creativity is wonderful. 

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There was a long period of time in my life where creativity didn’t exist. I’m so glad it’s back.