Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Five months

October 19th was my five month mark. I spent the day doing this:

(Not pictured is the 8 hours I spent in the car with Jo. Good thing we like each other so much, because GPS thought that was going to be a 4.5 hour drive. Clearly, GPS under (or maybe over?) estimates how often two 40 yr old women need to stop for bathroom breaks. And snacks.)

And considering that I'd spent the weekend in Vegas doing this

And the weekend before in California, doing this

I say that I'm still winning.

I'm tired and I'm glad to be home in my own bed, and I'm really looking forward to staying here for all of the nights until I go back to Houston  (11/7), but I am ofiicially over five months into the anticipated 3-6. I am tired, but I am happy. 

Oh, and winning. 

What happens in Vegas...

Last weekend, Jo and I went on a little roadtrip. To G's. For the weekend.

Lucky for us, the Kirks had gone to Utah via Vegas for Conference, and they ran across this random little wing place (that's also a gas station) in Kingman that... sells Dole Whip. Totally legit Dole Whip.

It may not be a great picture of us, but don't let that discourage you from stopping, should you ever be in Kingman. It was awesome.

We spent the weekend at G's. Mich flew in Friday night, about an hour after Jo and I pulled into the driveway. I didn't take pics at the house, but couldn't help but have our server commemorate the moment when we had lunch at The Grape Street Cafe. 

I seriously LOVE this place.

When I was going to Vegas, the ONLY thing I wanted to do was eat here.

And order this.

It didn't photograph well, but man alive... I'm telling you. Their Hawaiian Ahi Tuna is, like, my favorite meal. On the planet.

And, of course, we had to have a spy-ish photo shoot with Mich once she saw the super cool (bathroom) door at the restaurant.

It was a fabulous weekend, full of downtime. Saturday morning, Jo, Mich and I hung out while G went to a training. That afternoon/evening, the four of us went out to eat, then pillaged a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop and had more Dole Whip (because Genevra knows how much I love it, and how hard it is to come by). Sunday morning, Jo and Mich went to church (like the good little Mormons they are) and G and I went to Starbucks (because when I'm on vaca, all religious rules are suspended) and sat and chatted for hours. Sunday night, Jo and Mich made us some sweet chicken tacos for dinner. ... And then, Monday, we drove home. 

It was a quick trip, and a short weekend... but it was awesome to spend hours in a car with Jo, and then a couple days with two of my oldest and dearest friends.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


This past weekend was the third Ball Girl Baking Retreat.

Cousins and sisters from all over the country (erm... world, actually, since this year we got Beth to come from England) gathered in Orange County, California to bake our little hearts out in Aunt Deb's kitchen.

Left to Right
(rear): Debbie, Becca, Christie, Ginny, Carol, Cindy, Jeannette, Judy
(middle): Me, Rachel, Sabrina, Katie G, Brooke
(front): Lisa, Julie, Shelly, Beth, Kyla

We laughed, we cried, we baked, we ate, we talked, we napped, we told stories and then we ate some more. The Ball girls and the Gardner girls were in a day early, and both families had sister days on Friday. The baking and official cousin bonding commenced Saturday morning and ran through Sunday night. A few stragglers (myself and Judy, included) stayed through Monday (yay for bank holidays!).

Many thanks to Aunt Deb and Cousin Jeannette for splitting the cousins in half and hosting (18 women in attendance meant two households had nine extra people having sleepovers). It was a crazy busy weekend, full of English candy, baked goods, In-N-Out fries, all-I-could-eat Doritos, enchiladas, tacos, family recipes with a twist and beloved recipes that were shared.

I love my family, even more than I love food. (And I loved Becca's Cancer Cake a whole freaking lot, so that's saying something!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The last 36

Initially, I was going to title this The Last 48, but then I realized that would imply that Monday night was rough, and that just isn't (wasn't) the case.  Monday night, I had Target popcorn for dinner. Monday night was awesome. That said...

The last couple days have been rough.

It started with my port flush yesterday. Combine a (foolish) nurse (who had, clearly, never had the pleasure of dealing with yours truly) who felt the need to warn me that that the hospital changed needle providers and this stick was gonna be worse than usual with a crippling anxiety disorder that automatically turns any mention of needle-induced pain into a high speed come apart... and all sorts of ugliness ensued. 

She was right. It did hurt more than usual. Not that she was the nurse who ended up sticking me. She sent in a replacement, real quick, after I asked her "Who would say that?!", followed by, "I'm going to have to ask you to stop talking and just do your job."

(Right now, any and all of my nurse friends are lifting their eyes to heaven and hoping they never have anyone the likes of me as a patient, I know.)

Anyway, the port was the beginning. Yesterday, around 11:00, I had the first of what would turn out to be... I don't even know how many, because I've lost count, total meltdowns. (I'm talking, repetitive, rolled up in a ball, crying so hard that my eyelids are swollen, meltdowns.)

It'a been a rough 36.

Mostly, because I'm in more pain than usual, but between the pain and stress, it's a vicious cycle.

The tissue surrounding my port is always tender for a few days after it's accessed, and I had not one, but two nurses poking and prodding me yesterday. 

The pea in my back is aggravated, because I felt crappy yesterday and spent much of the afternoon lying or sitting in an unusual position, trying to alleviate the pressure near my port.

This caused some (by which I mean: a crap ton of) back pain that was exacerbated by me spending too much time hunched over a laptop. 

Throw in stessors in every single area of my life this week, and I now have pain in my neck and between my shoulder blades that's making it painful to breathe. 

Like my body itself isn't enough to drive a girl to drink, the effect that stress has on my body anymore just makes me want to rock in a corner  (or curl up in the fetal position and cry... tomato/tomahto).

And while I've been lying here in bed all day (not really all day - I got home from work at 12:20, so it's really "only" been seven hours), I've been thinking that (feeling like) something needs to change. 

I don't know what that change is (who's kidding who? let's go ahead and upgrade that to what those changes - plural - will be), I do know that something's got to give. Soon.

And while I know that sounds like I'm being crazy dramatic at the end of a couple really hard days, what I know is that I need a change in the way the wind is blowing. (You know I do love me a solid Mary Poppins reference.) 

Fingers crossed that there's more than the fall weather coming. Maybe there really is a major change on the way. 

I hope so, because the last couple days have been hard. I mean HARD.

I'm really grateful that I don't have hard days really often, because man... when I do, they're brutal.