Today is our 15 year wedding anniversary. We have been together for 19 years (well, 20 in January) and friends for many years beyond that. It’s hard for me to even wrap my head around that, so to assist you I’ve added to my growing compilation of “Us Over the Years.” Sit, back, relax (15 years is a LOT of pictures) and enjoy. Try not to get too distracted by my ever-changing hairstyles.
I have officially lost my mind.
There is just no other reasonable explantation for why I would sign up to run a half marathon.
Yes. You read that correctly. A HALF MARATHON. (My blood pressure went up a little bit just writing that.)
Here is how it happened. I had the following conversation with Lisa, my friend of over ten years, via text:
Lisa: Want to train and do the girlfriends 1/2 in oct w me 😉
Me: Ha ha ha ha!
Me: I mostly joke because that scares the crap out of me. The furthest I have ever run without stopping is a 5k. I don’t know if I could do 13 miles….
Lisa: No! Come on. Would be fun
Lisa: Me either…freaks me out to think about it…but it is in oct. My goal…to finish 😉
Me: But yes. I would love to. Especially the training part. Do you have a program you want to follow?
Me: Mostly I would love to do it because (not only is it BADASS) but I love those stickers that say “13.1 miles because I’m only half crazy.”
In hindsight, I’m a little embarrassed with how easily I gave in. I mean I actually used the word “love” with regards to a half marathon! Was this something deep, DEEP in my subconscious I actually wanted to do? I guess so. Bucketlist, here’s your newest item!
Then I had another conversation with Cyndie, my running inspiration who got me into Stroller Strides and gave me the confidence and encouragement to actually start running in the first place, via text:
Me: If someone were to want to train for a half (specifically Girlfriends), where would you suggest they start?
Me: I’m asking for a friend… 😉
Cyndie: BY REGISTERING!!!!! Wahoooo!
Cyndie: I mean, you know, for your friend…
Me: Ha ha ha. I thought that’s what you might say.
Cyndie: I’m not home but will be happy to email some stuff this weekend. Seriously, just do it. 🙂
And so I did. I went to the Girlfriends site and registered. Before I could change my mind.
Lisa is one of the very few people who could actually convince me to do something like this. For one thing, our lives have taken us in very similar directions. We worked together in our past (read: pre-children) lives. We both had our second daughters a mere five months apart. And we both spent the majority of last year on the same path to weight-loss (I lost over 30 pounds and Lisa lost, um, significantly more than me). So it only made sense for us to embark on this together. I am looking forward to conquering this challenge with my amazing friend at my side.
For me, every adventure begins with shopping. Cyndie followed through and sent me a link to Another Mother Runner and highly suggested I read their books, Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother which I promptly added to my Goodreads “to-read” bookshelf and will be buying for my Kindle later today. Then I stumbled upon the clothing links and found this awesome shirt and my new running motto:
So, anyone else feel like losing their mind in the name of health and joining me on this adventure?? It’s not til October so we have TEN MONTHS to train. What can you accomplish in 10 months? Anything.
Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. We have been together for 14 years (15 in January) and friends for about four years beyond that. Not sure what that looks like, exactly? Well sit back and enjoy a little photographic trip down memory lane…
Anyone who has been around Sim or I in the last several months can tell we are working really hard to get healthy. We started doing Take Shape For Life and got a health coach. We started watching what we eat, (eating better as well as eating less), drinking more water, and getting active. I was doing Stroller Strides several days a week, but it wasn’t until I actually started losing weight on TSFL that I could actually push myself harder and run (as opposed to walk) more. Once the weight started coming off, I was amazed at how much easier it was to get out there and move. So as a family we started coming up with activities we could do together that got us off the couch, out of the house, and doing something physical.
Then on March 24th, Ana learned to ride her bike without training wheels.
She could move. FAST. And we actually had to run to keep up with her. We went on a few family run/rides with Sim and Ana on bikes and me pushing Hadley in my trusty BOB jogging stroller. We would go around our neighborhood, stopping at each play ground we came across.
Then one day I realized it was time for me to get a bike. I had a bike, but it was a hand-me-down and it didn’t really fit me and as a result ended up hurting me so much that I couldn’t ride for more than a few minutes before my knees were killing me. So over Memorial Day weekend I finally told Sim I was ready to go get a bike FOR ME. So we drove over to Bike Gallery and after test driving several models, I found my Townie. (Isn’t she pretty?!)
Then our lovely friends, Chloe and Patrick invited us to go on a bike ride. They were going to ride on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. They had gone the previous weekend with friends and thought we would enjoy it. They said they rode out about 3.5 miles and turned around (before it got too hilly) and came back. So 7 miles total. I wasn’t too sure if Ana could do it (heck, I wasn’t sure if I could do it!) since the furthest we had gone was about 1.5 miles around our neighborhood. But you never know until you try. We packed some bungee cords to strap Ana’s bike to the Burley in case she got tired and wanted to climb in with Hadley (we have a two-seater bike trailer). So we went on our bike ride, and it was awesome.
It wasn’t totally without drama. Ana’s bike slipped on some moss on the road and she crashed right in front of me. I narrowly avoided running right over her! But she picked herself up, brushed off the dirt, shed a few tears, and asked me to “take a picture and post it to Facebook.” I asked her if she wanted to get in the Burley but she said no. She wanted to keep going. And she rode the whole way. We calculated it on our GPS and it ended up being 7.75 miles total and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves for completing such a ride.
So the next weekend we decided to push ourselves a little further and go to the next segment of the trail (we went from Banks to Manning the first time) and go to Buxton where there was a little day use area and stop for a picnic before heading back. This ride would be 7 miles out, so 14 miles total. But we figured stopping for lunch and getting off the bikes would break up the ride and make it so the kiddos wouldn’t get too bored.
And that is exactly what happened.
The Oregon weather has been perfect, and we have been riding every chance we get. We are totally obsessed with our new family activity. I am so proud of us for turning our lives around and setting such great examples for our children. So does anyone have any new trails for us to check out? I’m taking suggestions!
(P.S. Thanks to Chloe for sharing some of her photos with me… so I could actually be in some of them!)
I had my six-week postpartum doctors appointment today (it’s actually been seven weeks, but my doctor was off last week for Christmas) and have this to report back:
Weight: down 20 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight
Blood Pressure: 110/70
She checked me over and said everything looks great. I was given the all clear to start working out again! Stroller Strides, here I come! I’m motivated by my pregnancy weight loss and don’t want to lose my edge. Not to mention the 500 calories I burn a day just by nursing Miss Hadley! Now I just need to tone things up and keep up my energy.
I have to do a two-hour glucose test later this week to check my blood sugars. Apparently about 10% of women who had gestational diabetes develop regular diabetes, so it’s important to check my postpartum levels and do a check each year thereafter as well.
Otherwise, I’m looking good and feeling great. If I weren’t carrying around this new little person, you’d never know I recently had a baby. And isn’t she just the cutest thing you ever did see?
Simeon really went above and beyond for my birthday this year. I guess he felt the pressure was on since I was turning the big 3-0.
I guess it all started a few months ago when we got a letter in the mail saying something about “your upcoming Vegas Vacation.” Assuming it was junk mail or someone stole our credit card and went on a shopping spree, I instantly sent a text message to Sim (who was speaking at a conference in New York) asking if he knew anything about this. To which he replied, “Yeah… I was going to surprise you with a vacation for your birthday.”
Fast forward to last weekend, where I was looking ahead to leaving for a long weekend in Vegas and feeling quite relieved that I didn’t have to plan (let alone clean up after!) any sort of party for my birthday. We were suppose to be meeting the Whislers’ at Out of This World Pizza to let the kiddos play and then maybe have some pizza for dinner. We got there and, not seeing our friends, I started scouting out a couple tables I could push together that would accommodate our two families. Sim then asked me if I had ever seen the room upstairs. I said no, and continued to look for tables. He said he and Ana wanted to go up and check them out and asked me to come up with them. I glared at Sim, reminded him that my back has been killing me and all I wanted to do was go sit down. But he insisted, so I slowly (and grumpily) followed him up the stairs…to find the room filled with all my friends and family shouting, “SURPRISE!”
Yeah, you could say Sim totally managed to pull this one off. I told him he was really lucky I took the time to shower, blow dry my hair, put on some makeup, and actually looked presentable, since more often than not lately I have been known to neglect one or more of those things. But everything went off without a hitch. Everyone had a great time and it was a truly amazing birthday party.
Simeon even serenaded me (singing AND playing guitar) with a song that he changed the lyrics so that it perfectly defined our relationship. In doing so, he totally won over ALL the people in the room and secured himself the title of Best Husband Ever.
And then I still got to go on a trip to Vegas! Seriously, can you believe how spoiled I am? Yikes! My mom came up Friday morning to stay with Ana while Sim and I went to Las Vegas for a long weekend getaway. We got to our hotel, only to find that my husband managed to upgrade us to a lovely suite for my birthday.
We hung out in our room for a bit before heading out on the town (it was 105 degrees outside. I wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere!) On our first night there, we had tickets to Tony and Tina’s Wedding.
The next morning, my actual birthday, we splurged and went to brunch at the Wynn. It was seriously the most beautiful restaurant with the most amazing food I have ever eaten. Sadly, my pregnant stomach doesn’t hold anywhere near the amount of food it use to, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a little bite of everything from the (two-sided!) dessert area.
Then later that day, we took a limo to the Venetian hotel where we enjoyed a gondola ride, a lovely Italian dinner, then got to see Phantom.
We wrapped up my birthday evening hitting the casino (we were in Vegas, it had to be done). I won one round of blackjack, with an actual blackjack, then instantly cashed out my winnings and Sim and I spent a little time high-rolling on the penny slot machines. Yeah, that’s how we roll.
The next morning we checked out of our hotel, went to the movie theater near the airport and watched Inception to kill a few hours before our flight home. It was a perfect birthday celebration and a lovely babymoon, too. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be home, to see Ana, have her wrap her little arms around me and tell me, “I missed you! Now I can hug and kiss you as much as I want!” Now tell me, how could that not be the best part of my weekend??
You can see all our Vegas pictures here.
A little over two weeks ago, on December 18th, I got something I hadn’t had in almost four years: a positive pregnancy test. I was so excited. In fact, I wrote this:
Well, I just found out I am pregnant. I guess I already KNEW, but I was trying to not get my hopes up… like I did several times in the last 11 months of trying to get pregnant. It’s been a rough time so far, but I am sure that by August 24th 2010 (my due date!!), it will all be worth it. It’s a cool, rainy day today, but my heart is so full of happiness and hope that I don’t even notice.
But before you go and get all excited and happy like I did, I have to warn you: this story does not have a happy ending.
Four days ago I started spotting. I tried not to be too worried about it, after all, this happened when I was pregnant with Ana, so I tried to be optimistic. I took it easy, spending the better part of the day in bed watching a marathon of The Next Iron Chef. But the spotting continued. And then it got worse. Finally I decided it was time to call my doctor. After a couple calls back and forth I ultimately was given two options: 1) come in the following day for an ultrasound or 2) wait and see if things get worse. Since I had already waited and decided it was worse, I opted for the ultrasound.
That brings me to this morning. Sim and I dropped Ana off for a playdate with some friends and we went to our ultrasound appointment. The tech started the ultrasound and took a few pictures but decided she couldn’t quite see what she was looking for and wanted to do an internal ultrasound. Once again, this didn’t worry me because I had been through all this before. But as the ultrasound progressed and nothing appeared on the screen, our hopes started to diminish. The room was totally silent. Finally the tech spoke and said, “Ok, here is your left ovary…and here is your right ovary.” And that was pretty much all she had to report. Sim told me later later, “I kept waiting for her to say, ‘and here is your baby’ but that never came.” She said she would send the pictures she took over to my doctor and I would meet with her in a few minutes.
We went out to the waiting room and were soon called back to see my OB. She walked into the room and said, “This was NOT the reason I was hoping to see you guys today.” Boy, do I know! So we basically sat down and talked about what had happened and what we need to do now.
My doctor was a little stumped because there weren’t any obvious signs of a miscarriage; I hadn’t had any pain or cramping with the bleeding and the ultrasound didn’t show a blighted ovum (empty gestational sac). In fact, the ultrasound didn’t show anything. Nothing. I was beginning to think I was having a hysterical pregnancy like Terri on Glee, but my doctor assured me that I did not make the whole thing up. She said it was probably one of two things, either I had already passed the sac without noticing or I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. They drew some of my blood to check my HCG (human chorionic gonadotropinso) levels and hopefully we can try to figure things out. At this point, we are actually rooting for the miscarriage. If I DO end up having an ectopic pregnancy I would get a shot of methotrexate (which my doctor said is basically chemotherapy) that would hopefully end the pregnancy. If that didn’t work I would need surgery. Not really an ideal situation.
So I have to go back into my doctors office on Friday to draw more blood to check my HCG levels. If they are going down, my body is already taking care of the problem on its own. If the levels are going up, we need to figure out why. I am also keeping my previously set doctors appointment in a couple weeks (they are changing it from an “OB” appointment to simply a “GYN” appointment) so my doctor can continue to monitor the situation. She informed me that during the ultrasound they discovered a little unexplained fluid around my right ovary and she wants to check on it with another ultrasound at that time. And the hits just keep on coming!!
So Sim took the rest of the day off work so we could spend some time together as a family. We cuddled on the couch, we got a babysitter so we could go see Avatar 3D to celebrate our 12 (TWELVE!!) year dating anniversary (we’ve been married for seven) and took every opportunity we could to be grateful for the amazing things we have in our life. We have each other. We have a wonderful relationship. We have our health. And, most importantly, we have an amazing daughter who we just cannot stop hugging.
UPDATE: I got a call from my doctor’s office this evening and my second blood draw showed that my HCG levels are down from 210 on Wednesday to 34 this morning. So we are pretty much guaranteed that I had a miscarriage and not an ectopic pregnancy. Whew. If there had to be a “best case scenario” this was it. Thank you for all your well wishes. It means so much to our family.
Ok, let’s give this little “year end wrap-up” a try:
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Celebrated seven years of marriage to my lovely husband. Started rock climbing. Became president of the North Beaverton MOMS Club. Took Ana to Disneyland. Joined Stroller Strides. Attended a MOMS Club Luncheon. Saw my daughter turn three.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t believe I made a resolution last year, as I am not generally a fan of resolutions. But this year my resolution is simple: to breathe. I want to try and remain calm before I yell or say something I will regret. I want to take a deep breath, remember what is really important, and understand that every little thing does not matter. I am going to relax, close my eyes, and just breathe. For me, for my husband, and for my daughter, I am going to breathe. And it probably wouldn’t hurt my blood pressure either!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Oh yes… My little sister, Darcie, had a baby boy: Silas. My step-sister, Mandy, had a baby girl: Francesca. My friend, Jennifer, had a baby boy: Matthew. My friend, Jen, had a baby boy: Zeke. My friend, Angela, had a baby boy: Henry. My friend, Laura, had a baby girl: Amelia.
(Sorry if I forgot anyone. There are just so many babies right now!)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my Grandma Thissel (my Mom’s mom).
5. What countries did you visit?
I don’t think we left the county this year. We were too busy recovering from our visit to Italy at the end of last year.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A baby? Ha!
Seriously I could go for a surplus of cash for all the home improvements we are needing to make. Oy! We need a new roof, we need to re-side the house, we need new windows, we need to trim the floor on our main level, and the list goes on and on and on.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Why can’t I think of one? No ONE date really sticks out in my mind. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being the best mom I can be. Working with my board to turn around our MOMS Club. Starting to exercise again so I can live a healthier life for my daughter.
9. What was your biggest failure?
The moments when I’ve been less than the parent I want to be.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No real illness or injury, but I did have the E.R. visit for my abdominal pain after my HSG procedure.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My iPhone (I’ve had one for years, but I got the latest version this year…I think.). It allows me to stay organized, connected, and never get lost. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
12. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, car payments, bills, and groceries.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Every little thing my daughter does or says. She is adorable that way.
14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Hopefully a little thinner! Stronger, if nothing else.
– richer or poorer? Maybe a little richer? But ask me again after tax time! Yikes!
15. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Relaxing and just enjoying life.
16. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Yelling. Rushing. Stressing.
17. How did you spend Christmas?
We hosted Christmas at my Mom’s house in Seaside (she was in Arizona).
18. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I fall in love with my husband and my daughter every single day.
19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I’m not a big hater. It’s pointless.
20. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 years old and I took Ana horseback riding for the first time during the day. That night, Sim and I planned to go to the Jewel concert at the zoo but blew it off due to the chaos of the crowds and parking and decided to go see The Hangover instead. Best. Decision. Ever.
21. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Fashion? Ha ha ha ha! I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. Comfort is key.
22. What kept you sane?
My daughter and her amazing hugs. Exercising. Laughing with my family. My supportive husband.
23. What political issue stirred you the most?
I try not to get involved in political issues because the whole thing stresses me out, but as someone who has a husband who is self-employed and basically uninsurable, I would really love for our country to get on board with universal health care.
24. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Now if only I could actually follow it…
25. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I’m gonna to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb
(Hannah Montana “The Climb”)
“Well, it looks like somebody did their homework!” my doctor said happily as she peered at me over the stack of charts I handed over to her nurse just moments ago.
I smiled, and said, “Yep. Considering the length of time it took me to get pregnant with Ana, we started charting as soon as we decided to try again.”
And that was 10 months ago.
Allow me to back up. Sim and I started trying for Baby Number 2 at the beginning of this year. Being the (over) planner that I am, I was hoping to have a baby at roughly the same time of year I had Ana so that my maternity clothes as well as the baby’s clothes would all be in the right season. If I had another girl, then ALL the clothes would be able to be used again. Let me just tell you, there are A LOT of clothes. Anyway, I digress. So I had my IUD removed in January and thought I would allow my body a month or so to “get back to normal” then if I got pregnant in March-ish, I would expect another winter baby. Perfect, no? However, my body had other plans. After charting for 10 months and noticing some problems with the regularity of my cycle, I decided to set an appointment with my doctor to determine my options.
Now that brings us back to the present, with me sitting in front of my doctor trying to figure out what to do now. My OB/GYN is amazing, and got right to the point, “All I needed to see was TWO of these charts to tell you that something isn’t right. And you brought me TEN.” Basically she was able to conclude that I haven’t been ovulating. (Kind of a big problem when you are hoping to get pregnant.) Now we just needed to figure out why. Luckily I timed my appointment perfectly in my cycle (day three) and so while I was at the doctor’s, they were able to draw some blood and test me for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and check my hormone levels, specifically my Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels. My doctor also gave me a prescription for Clomid and instructed me to start taking it on day five of my cycle (through day 10).
[As as side note, a lot of people, myself included, are skeptical of Clomid because of the shocking stories you hear about women delivering sextuplets as a result of the fertility aid, but my doctor assured me that she “delivers babies, not litters.” With the dosage that I was prescribed, there was a 96% chance of having one baby, 3% chance of twins, and only 1% chance of triplets. There was ZERO chance of having any more that three.]
She also recommended that I start using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) starting on day 10. I was also instructed to set up an appointment for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) exam to check my fallopian tubes for blockages. This appointment needed to be done before day 12. (See how important timing is when it comes to fertility?!)
Whew! Are you overwhelmed yet? I know I sure felt that way. But while there were a lot of new words, acronyms, and procedures I needed to learn, I left my doctors office feeling empowered. I was taking control of the situation and being proactive! I had realized there was a problem (not necessarily what it was, but that there was, in fact, a problem) and was taking steps to fix it.
So, after a few hiccups with my insurance company (they would cover things, but only at specific locations) on day nine I went to Portland Medical Imagining for my HSG test. The procedure was as routine as shooting radiographic dye into your uterine cavity can be. Once I got past the tingly/stinging feeling (almost like injecting ice water into your veins) it was actually interesting to watch. My test showed that I did not have any blockages and the dye was able to flow freely through my tubes and into my abdominal cavity. I left the clinic, feeling mildy crampy, but optimistic about my results. There is also a slight increase in fertility in the months following an HSG, as it “clears out the cobwebs.” So that was aiding in my optimism.
Seven hours later, however, my positive attitude plummeted as I was overcome with severe abdominal pain and instructed by the on-call doctor from my OB’s office to go straight to the emergency room. The long and the short of it (after several hours of sitting in the E.R. in pain, explaining the procedure I had done to each person I encountered) was that my pain was too long after the procedure to have perforated my uterus (it would have been instantaneous), but too soon for infection to set in (it generally takes a day or two), so they concluded that I was having a “reaction” to the dye used in the HSG. Unfortunately, since my test went as we hoped, all the dye they used was just floating around in my abdomen, waiting to be absorbed by my body. My body, however, was having an adverse reaction to the dye and therefore causing me extreme pain…for which there was nothing the doctors could do but give me a shot to prevent infection, hand me a bottle of Vicodin, and send me home. So for the next few days I tried to move as little as possible, remain medicated, and sleep as often as I could. Eventually the pain dulled and now I just have minor twinges from time to time and an incredibly heightened awareness of every part of my reproductive system.
Since my test (and the recovery it required) I am back to charting, taking my basal temperature every morning, tracking my ovulation (if it does, in fact, occur) and crossing my fingers.
And now we wait.
Simeon and I have been married for seven years today. SEVEN. But we have been together for almost 12 and friends for much, much longer. To celebrate the love we have for each other and the adventures we have taken together over the years, I wanted to put together a little collection of pictures of us over the years. Enjoy!
At my high school prom, May 1998.
Early in the relationship, August 1998.
Our engagement picture, April 2000.
When we got our first dog, Ellie, May 2001.
Our wedding, September 2002.
On our honeymoon cruise in Mexico, September 2002.
At a work party, 2004.
Atop the Empire State Building in New York City, June 2004.
At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2004.
At the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, March 2005.
Our three year anniversary, at The Lion King, September 2005.
Wine tasting tour with friends, October 2005.
At Megan and Jason’s wedding, November 2005.
Woodburn Tulip Festival, April 2006.
At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2006.
Ana’s birth day, December 2006.
4th of July 2007.
Ana’s first time on the beach, September 2007.
At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2007.
Woodburn Tulip Festival, April 2008.
At the Lakeview Farms pumpkin patch, October 2008.
Darcie and Jake’s wedding, October 2008.
At the Colosseum in Rome, November 2008.
Cross country skiing at Mt. Hood, February 2009
Family pictures, June 2009.
Nicole and Jesse’s wedding, September 2009.
It has been one heck of a journey and I have loved every minute of it. Thank you for being my best friend, the love of my life, and the most amazing husband any girl could ever hope for. I love you, Simeon!!