Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Only Wednesday?

It's been a long week and it's only Wednesday. And today was one of those days where you go from a two hour conference call to a spur of the moment lunch meeting with your boss to trying to figure out what exactly needs to happen (and when!) for the 17 different people are asking you to draft documents that may or may not have something to do with each other. Oh and look into terminating this contractor and review this contract to see if we can get out of it. At least there was a puppy at work to play with.


Yup, I'm definitely back at work.


I was working last week while I was at home recovering from the surgery, but it was a pretty slow week with the Thanksgiving holiday (thank goodness!), and working on my couch in yoga pants is vastly preferable to actually getting dressed and coming into the office (even though I get to wear jeans to work. Yoga pants are always superior to jeans). It also probably didn't help that this morning's usually 20 minute commute took nearly an hour (thus leaving me not as much time to prepare for everything that needed to happen this morning). 


Anyway. There really isn't much of a point to this. Just that it's felt like a very long week and I still have two more days to get through. And then come Saturday I officially start to study for the bar. Again. Except that last time I was studying for a bar exam it was the summer of 2008, I was a newly minted law grad living by myself and I had nothing else to do for 6 weeks except study for the bar (thank god for bar stipends). Being married and working full time and attempting some sort of a social life during the holidays sounds as though it will be a bit different experience this time around...


But! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is the first week of March which has already been blocked off as a week of relaxation for our belated honeymoon/first anniversary/bar trip extravaganza. Even if we just drive to the coast and rent a cabin there, it shall be an extravaganza (apparently my definition of extravaganza involves a beach and copious amounts of alcohol. I would like for it to include the sun and warm breezes, but hey, I'll take what I can get!).


Just have to keep swimming until March...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest post on Geek In Heels!

Hey all - I'm guest posting for Jenny at Geek In Heels while she spends some time with her two adorable children!


Check out my post on how the glass you're drinking wine from really does affect its taste (also for some pictures of my dad's spectacular wine glass collection!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful

I am thankful for:


My husband - he has waited on me hand and foot this past week doing everything he could to make me as comfortable as possible. And he would do this for me even if I hadn't just had surgery. 


My family - they are truly amazing. My parents have been there for me through all of the ups and downs in my life, and I can't even imagine where I'd be without their support. My brother and sister and new brother-in-law are equally amazing and I'm so looking forward to spending more time with them (with no wedding discussions for any of us!).


My friends - how have I been blessed with so many amazing people to call friends? I only hope they know how special they are to me, and how much brighter my life is with them in it.


My dog - yup, I am thankful for the crazy puppy that is Cody. He helped keep me sane through law school, has made a new best friend out of my husband, and will be a great buddy to our future kiddos (nope, not pregnant now though!).


My job and my co-workers - last year at this time was pretty rough. I had no idea that I would end up working with such an amazing group of people (including people who would bring me and my husband dinner this past week!).


My health - this is a big one. Before this surgery I've generally been a pretty healthy person. Sure, I broke bones and got the twice a year cold, but that was about it. I know that I can't take my health for granted, and must be more vigilant about keeping it in good condition going forward. I know so many others have a much harder time of it, and I'm trying to make sure I remember how lucky I am.


My life - I may bitch and moan sometimes, and I might joke about just how broke we are right now, but we have what matters and we'll work to dig our way out and get to the life that we want. Knowing that, and reminding myself how lucky I am in so many ways helps a lot.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and I hope you have a wonderful (and safe!) holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Do you know that I have had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents every single year of my life? Not always at their house (one year we were in London, and often we've been with other relatives or friends). But I have always seen them on this holiday.


This is something that a lot of my friends (and my husband) are amazed by - but in college we had a week off at Thanksgiving so I always went home for the week. And when I was living in Oregon for 5 years, I still always managed to make it home for turkey day. This is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons - the family togetherness, the food (and now the wine!), the days off from work (or school), and a time to take a few days to relax before the craziness that is December. 


Whenever my mom makes Thanksgiving dinner it's all the foods that I remember from childhood - turkey and gravy, my grandmother's stuffing (that I used to dislike and is now one of my favorite foods!), peas and squash (which I still don't eat to this day - but the rest of my family loves), homemade rolls, green beans, cranberry and apple jello, cranberry sauce... and of course pies to top it off when we're all still stuffed silly.


I know a lot of people (again, including my husband) like to change up menus and try something new every year. I can appreciate that, but for me this holiday is about being with family and having the same (or at least similar throughout the years) meal drives that home for me. The food helps to connect the past with the present, and makes me excited for what the future will bring.


And since my husband and I love this type of food so much, we tend to make a belated Thanksgiving meal early in December where we try out new dishes (like sweet potatoes!). Turkey leftovers are the best!


No matter where you're celebrating, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are able to be with family or friends (or both! We're celebrating our annual Deep Fried Thanksgiving with friends on Saturday - too bad I won't be able to eat anything there this year!).


Anyone else have traditions of going home like this? Or are you building new traditions as you get older?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Recovery

At home, sitting in a surprisingly perfectly angled Ikea Poang chair, watching football and keeping an eye on the clock. As the second hand ticks past, it means it's closer to another round of pain meds. Also the USC-OR game (Go Ducks!).


I don't love how the pain meds are making me feel (super fuzzy head, very out of it, and ready to fall asleep at the drop of a hat - but only sometimes), so I'm hoping to be off of them soon. On the other hand, I also know better than to let myself go too long if I am in pain. So I'm trying to figure that out.


Overall, things haven't been so bad, though this morning has been a bit rough. Had more of an appetite last night, not so much of one right now. Though I'm trying to keep something in my stomach since I know that ultimately that will make me feel better. Sleeping's been interesting - I'm trying to keep myself propped up a bit due to the pain in my shoulder (from the gas), but then I get uncomfortable and have trouble getting into a new position. Slept in the living room the last two nights (so did B - he was worried he wouldn't wake up if I needed him if he was in the bedroom), but moved back to the bed around 4 this morning. I think that helped. I'll probably try that tonight (yay for having lots of pillows!).


Mainly this has been an exercise in patience - patience for myself and letting my body heal at whatever rate it needs to. Patience with letting others help me - particularly my husband who has been awesome (seriously, I'm pretty sure I got the best husband out there). Patience with myself when I need to let other responsibilities go (ie stop replying to work emails when I can't effect much change right now and my head's too fuzzy to make much sense anyway!). 


Cody still isn't quite sure what's going on and why I'm not playing with him and letting him up to snuggle. He's figuring it out slowly that he needs to be careful with me, though he'd still prefer I throw his toys for him.


Finally, I really want to thank all of you who have reached out to me with good wishes the last couple of days! It meant a lot to read them all when I woke up on Thursday. You're all pretty amazing and I wish I could send cookies to everyone once I was feeling better! In all seriousness, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Waiting

At the hospital. Checked in. Waiting for them to call me back to get started. And just found out that B can't come back with me for any part (is that normal? I thought he could be with me while I got my iv at least).

In any event, almost time for the gallbladder to come out. And I have to leave my phone with B because they don't allow them back there. Hopefully pre-op goes quickly or else I'll be bored with nothing to do!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Yourself

Last night I went to happy hour with a couple of my good friends from college. It's sometimes still hard for me to believe that we've known each other for more than ten years. Along with being closer to my family, this was one of the things that really pulled me to move back here - getting to have the random evenings (along with planned events) with them. They are my people and we've all gone through a lot of shit together. The only bummer is that we're all so busy now we tend to go far too long between seeing each other! (Also, one of our group moved Jamaica. And it sucks that she's not around for happy hour right now. Except that she's in Jamaica. So it's kind of hard to feel bad for her.)


Anyway! One of the things that we talked about was a conversation my friend had had about being yourself. Specifically how at this point in our life, we've all more or less figured (some) things out and have become comfortable with being who we are. That we aren't trying to be anyone else, that we've accepted who our essential selves are. And that at this point, your friends have shaken out such that the ones who are still in your life are there not from any convenience (like growing up together on the same street, or living together in college or roommates afterward), but are there because they appreciate and like spending time with the quintessential "you." It was a really interesting point for me to think about.


See, I've spent most of my life being uncomfortable with who I was - whether it was my size, appearance, intelligence, whatever. And only in the past couple of years do I feel like I'm finally starting to own everything that makes me "me." And I've gotta say, actually being aware of it like that, being comfortable in my own skin and also recognizing that me being me is the person who my (incredibly talented and amazing) friends want to spend time with? It's a pretty good place to be.


For me, I think a lot of this acceptance came when I became serious about B. When I figured out that he liked me. Not any pretend version of myself, but the me who likes to wear sweatpants and watch football on the weekends. The me who very occasionally likes to dress up and dance with her friends, but who really prefers to go out for drinks at a local bar. The me who likes to wear makeup, but not enough of it that anyone really notices. The me who loves to re-read books and gets sucked into lives of characters on TV shows and is perfectly happy hanging out with my family. Feels good to know that all he wants is for me to be me. Because that's who he fell in love with and married. (And for the record, that's all I want for him as well.) 


Why does it take so long to understand that?

And I should note that I'm certainly not saying I have everything figured out (god knows I don't), but this realization of acceptance has been a big one for me.

I just wish I'd been able to figure it out sooner - I think my early 20s would have been much happier. But I guess this is what growing up is all about?

Friday, November 11, 2011

TGIF

Ok, so I'm still stressed out, but it no longer looks like the sky is falling and I've moved on from my WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE freakout. So I'm going to take that feeling and go with it and start to look on the bright side. Which, first off, is that it's Friday. Thank freaking god.


Other bright side news? Finding out some things about work has prompted me to jump back in to networking with people in my profession. No, I'm not planning on changing jobs any time soon, but I've done a really terrible job of growing my network since moving back to Seattle. That's just dumb, because as my father has always drilled into my head, you need your network in place long before you actually need to use it. I should be involved in my profession and community and actively trying to help others long before I need to ask for help myself. I've found several people that I want to talk to and get to know better and have already set up a time to meet with one of them. Go me.


Also on the not-being-a-hermit track, I've got plans with a bunch of friends tomorrow night which could keep me out of the house past 10pm. I love my husband and I love being a homebody (most of the time), but sometimes a girl just needs to let loose and dance which is what will be happening tomorrow. After spending a good portion of the day relaxing with my girls. Plus there's football to be enjoyed and all that other good stuff. 


And while I'm still nervous about my upcoming surgery, I'm feeling better about it and am looking forward to life post-surgery.


I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and are looking on the bright side of things yourselves!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stress

So. I've been pretty stressed lately. I try not to talk about it too much as who needs to deal with other people's stressors when they probably have plenty of their own to deal with? (My husband of course is the exception to this rule. He gets to hear all about my stress. Lucky him!)


In no particular order, here's what's been going on with me and what I've been worrying about:


My upcoming surgery. (Next week. Next Thursday to be precise.) I've been under general anesthesia before, but that was when I was much younger and my mom was doing much more of the worrying, because honestly I had no idea what was going on. Now I do. And I've been told about all of the risks and everything that could possibly go wrong. Knowledge is power, yes, but it's also more to worry about. Also, did I mention they're removing an organ? That still totally weirds me out.


Money. Pretty sure money will be a stressor in my life no matter how much or how little of it we have at any given time. I think that's how I'm wired. But it still sucks and stresses me out to think about our finances.


My job and career. Lots of stuff going on here which I really can't go into detail about. Let's just say that things aren't always what they seem to be and I'm trying to figure out what the best move for me will be. I hate not knowing what to do, and not knowing what the best option is. So instead I worry about lots of different things. 


My husband's job and career. This I can control even less than my own. But still. I stress.


Christmas. I love Christmas and spending time with family. That is not what I worry about. But there are other aspects to this holiday that do stress me out ($$). Not just presents (but I hate that I can't be as generous as I want to be with the people who I love the most). But the transportation and logistical side of the holidays.


There's more. But those are the highlights. I've really been actively trying lately (and by lately I mean the past year or so) to not stress about those things that I cannot control. And I've done an ok job of that for the most part. There really is something to the whole "let it go" philosophy. But in the last couple of weeks my anxiety has shifted into overdrive on so many levels and it's been really hard for me to let it go. I know I need to. And I think some relaxing time with some of my favorite girl friends this weekend will help. As well as reminding myself that things will work out. Maybe not the way I thought they would, or the way that I originally intended, but they will work out.


But still. 


I worry.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekend in the Woods: Let's Dance!


I absolutely love dancing. I look ridiculous while doing it, but it's just so much fun I can't help it. Mr. EB, however, is not a fan of dancing. But he promised to dance with me at our wedding, and he more than lived up to that promise (and I'm pretty sure he had some fun, too!). 







Our first dance was to Iron and Wine's "Love & Some Verses." It was perfect, and our band even learned the song so that they could play it live. (And I don't think our photographers minded that we borrowed their first dance song either!)


The best part about having our band learn the song was that they were able to make it a bit shorter (while I love to dance I knew I would be incredibly self-conscious being out there by ourselves on the dance floor, so I didn't want to dance for the entire length of the song).




After our first dance, Mr. EB danced with his mom and I danced with my dad to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version). About halfway through the song we opened up the dance floor to everyone else. This worked out great for us - we had part of the song to dance specifically with our parents, but then the rest of the song to share with all of our family and friends. 

I have no idea what my dad said here, but clearly I thought it was pretty funny!







Once the dances were out of the way, everyone took to the floor and didn't leave! Our band was fantastic (sure, I may be biased because they're friends, but they really were great). Everyone had a good time and there were plenty of spaces for people to wander to if they didn't want to be directly on the dance floor.










Co-MOH S even got up and sang with the band, too!








I got to dance with my new husband, my parents, my in-laws, with my best girlfriends from high school, college and law school, my siblings, my cousins - it was absolutely perfect.


We cut the cake during a quick break from the dance floor (IslandWood made all of the desserts for our dessert table and they were amazing!). 

 




 


We only had a cake in the first place because my mom wanted cake-cutting photos. I didn't want to stop the action and people kept asking if they could eat the cake, so I grabbed Mr. EB and my mom and we cut the cake! Sadly, that was my only bite of dessert all evening, but man that was a good cake.

It was about this time that Kat and Justin mentioned they had a little surprise for Mr. EB and myself back in the Great Hall...



*Unless otherwise noted, all photos by the fabulously talented Persimmon Images.

Want to catch up?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekend in the Woods: The Toasts!

After dinner was served it was time for the toast. Oh, the toasts! 




Mr. EB's best man took charge of organizing the people who wanted to speak, and I highly recommend appointing someone to do this if you haven't already. 


It made it so that Mr. EB and I didn't have to worry about making sure everyone who wanted to speak got a chance to, and we could instead just listen to the amazing things our incredibly wonderful family and friends said.

 



 







On the other hand though, we had a LOT of people speak - my two co-MOHs, Mr. EB's sister (and groomswoman), his best man, each of his parents, both of my parents, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. While this was appreciated, it meant that the toasts lasted a lot longer than anyone was really expecting - to the point that we were nearly an hour off schedule by the time we made our way back into the Great Hall for dancing. This is a LONG time to listen to people speak, and while I was enjoying it, I do remember thinking in the back of my head that this meant we weren't going to have as much time for dancing.

But their words were so special - and it really did mean a lot to both Mr. EB and myself that they wanted to speak. 




I should note that my family is from North Carolina - and when my mom broke into the North Carolina toast ("Here's to the land of the long leaf pine"), my sister and I couldn't help but stand up and toast along!





My mom also thanked all of the staff who had made it such an incredible weekend, including IslandWood's wonderful chef, the house manager and of course, our amazing coordinator.


The toasts finally ended when my cousins on my mom's side came up to say a few final words (we're spread out across the country, but we all spent at least two weeks at the North Carolina beach every summer so we still got to feel like we grew up together). It was the perfect end to the toasts and we managed to get a couple of great photos out of the craziness!



Finally, it was time to dance!



*Unless otherwise noted, all photos by the fabulously talented Persimmon Images.

Want to catch up?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Insomnia

How do you deal with being awake at night? For no particular reason whatsoever, except that when you lie down and close your eyes to sleep, you stay awake, staring at the clock as it slowly ticks past midnight, getting closer and closer to the time when your alarm will go off?


I've been very lucky to avoid sleeping problems for most of my life. Sure I've had the occasional problem falling asleep, but most often I can trace it to that second cup of coffee that I didn't really need, or some chocolate that I had too late at night. I've known people who have had serious sleep issues and because of that I've tried very hard not to take my good sleep patterns for granted. 


For much of the past year any sleep problems that I had could be attributed to the pain from my gallbladder attacks. I'd be in too much pain to lie down and sleep, and so I'd creep out to the couch to read or watch TV until the pain subsided. Even when I was in pain, I'd have to admit to a certain beauty in the stillness and quiet of the middle of the night - a secret time just for me. But the overwhelming tiredness and not being able to think the next morning could never make up for the quiet awake time in the middle of the night.


Last night was something different for me - I just couldn't fall asleep. I could hear my husband and my dog sleeping peacefully next to me, but I was wide awake, staring at the ceiling. Even though I'd been tired when I was getting ready for bed. So I followed what's been my routine this year when the pain made it hard to sleep. I went to the couch and read, thinking it would only take a half hour or so until my eyes grew heavy and I could go back to sleep. Instead, it took 1 cup of tea, 2 1/2 hours and many, many chapters in my book before I reached the point where I thought I could maybe go back to bed and fall asleep.


Given how tired I've been today, I certainly hope that this is not the beginning of a new pattern, but simply a rare occurrence of a mind that wasn't quite ready to shut off. But in case it happens again - have you had this happen? How do you get yourself to fall asleep when your mind refuses? 
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