Sunday, April 29, 2007


This is my first real check for my photography. I got it for a photo I took of my hometown. It is for a publication from the New Jersey Transit System in regards to the facade on the buildings in my former hometown. It's not a lot of money but it's the most I've ever been paid for any of my photos. I am putting it in an account and using it as seed money to start my new photography business.

I took photos at my church's womens conference this weekend. I think they turned out pretty good. However, I accidentally deleted all the photos I took Saturday morning. Not having another memory card, I had to take more photos over what I had already taken. I tried to recover the lost shots, but had already taken pictures that covered the ones that were lost. At least I learned what not to do when playing with my semi-new camera.

The women's conference was OK. I did get some good prayer and made some good re-connections with women I admire. I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do when I take pictures and that feels good.

Spring has really sprung here. Flowers are blooming, trees are leafing, and I am itchy to plant. I stopped at my favorite gardening center and they told me to wait two more weeks. It's hard, but I will wait. It's hard though as it was over 80 today and gorgeous. The people that live above us had their air conditioner running all day. I'm not sure why. We just opened both sliders and got a delicious cross breeze, no air conditioning needed.

I met a new neighbor this afternoon. I went outside to take pictures of the flowers on our property and met Marie and her 2-year old daughter Kaley. Marie asked me if it's normal to see naked women in our building. I said I did not think so. She said her live-in boyfriend saw a topless woman in the courtyard during the work day this past week and she saw a woman in a see-through bra in the laundry room last weekend. I told her that we have lived here almost 5 years and that's never happened to us, so she might want to report it to the management...and the police if it happens again. I told Bob about it and he keeps asking me to tell him if I see boobage. Men!

This coming weekend will be spent recovering from surgery. I got my period today, a day early, which is good news as far as my surgery is concerned. I was afraid it would be late and the surgery would have to be postponed, but thankfully, that is not the case.

Wednesday morning will be spent at the dentist getting some replacement fillings in my top front teeth. Wheee. This is just shaping up to be the best week ever what with dental visits and surgery. Yay! At least the weather will be nice.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Grief and Loss and Resources

Its been an interesting 24 hours.  Ive been asking people, for over a year, if they had any resources for Christian women struggling with infertility and the grief it brings.  My requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.  Either that or they just didnt know of any to point me towards.  However, last night we were at our last financial peace class which meets at our church.  I happened to pick up a local Christian newspaper and one of the lead stories was about a conference being held this Saturday and Sunday on dealing with grief in the loss of pregnancy, children, or infertility.  There is a whole local organization that has been around for at least 5 years.  The name of the organization is Missing Grace.  There website is here:  Their story is here:  Had I known about the conference before last night, I would have been first in line to register and attend.  However, it is meeting at the exact time the womans conference I signed up for last month is meeting.  Ive been asked to be an official even photographer for the womans conference and I agreed, so I dont feel I can back out of that commitment.  However, you can bet I will be attending this event next year.

Anyway, by perusing their website, Ive come across other resources.  Imagine that!  On the web!  There are links to other resources! I haven’t had time for a thorough look-through at the all, but I have bookmarked them for future reference. For instance, there is a national Infertility Association.  Did you know that?  They are called Resolve.  Their website is here:  They have a lot of information on their webpage but if you want to join them, there is a $55.00 registration fee.  As far as I can tell, though, the web resources are free. 

There is also a Christian specific group called Hannahs Prayer.  Their website is here: They have a forum/message board, which Ive joined.  Through them, I also found Stepping Stones which is a ministry of Bethany Christian Services.  Their website is: and then click the Infertility Ministry link.  Another resource I found is called Fertility Journey.  Their website is:  I havent looked over that website in depth, but they do claim to have a Fertility Support Center. The final resource I found through Hannahs Prayer is INCIID The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID – pronounced "inside") is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and couples explore their family-building options.  I havent had time to look over that website yet either, but it looks like it has a lot of professional resources to offer.

I just put this out there in case anyone else may be struggling with infertility and grief and loss as I have been lately.  You are not alone and there is help and support available. I hope you found me and are able to find the help and support you are looking for as your travel this quiet, lonely road.  Please email me if you want someone with whom to correspond.  My email is

So in less than 24 hours I have managed to find online resources, forums, message boards, AND a local support group.  All I had to do was keep asking and looking.  Please pass this journal entry or these links along to others you may know struggling with grief and loss as it relates to infertility.  If you know of other struggling with grief and loss of a pregnancy or child, many of these links are also good resources for that as well.  If you have other links or other resources, please email them to me and I will post them here as well.  Eventually, I will get them linked to my sidebar for easier access.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Holy High Gas Prices Batman!

I left our building over the lunch hour and saw that gas is now $2.95!  How?  When?  What?  Gah!

So I had my pre-op appointment over my lunch hour.  I am not pregnant so it’s all systems go for the laposcopy a week from today.  My RE told me that if there is scaring, she will cut it and if there is endometriosis, she will burn it out.  She will also check my tubes and make sure all looks good from there.  She said she would tell my husband the results of the surgery so I’m to rely on him for info.  I am going to make him take a note pad so he doesn’t forget anything. 

In looking over my chart, she noted that everything looks fine and she can’t see any real reason why we haven’t conceived.  She said she will see me 2 weeks after the surgery to make sure everything is A-OK and then talk about how we want to proceed.  I told her that I know right now we do not want to do IVF but would be interested in insemination.  So, once the surgery is done and I’ve gone two weeks, we can discuss our next steps and how to proceed.

I feel better after meeting with her.  It’s hard to be in her office though.  The whole place is papered in baby pictures.  Most of the women there are either pregnant right now or have children with them as they wait to see the doctor.  Today a woman had 3 children and as she got up to leave, her middle child refused to leave with her.  She told him she would just leave him there then as she was sure someone there would want him to come home with them.  The nurse laughed and I said he could come back to work with me, but by then, he was OK to leave with her.

When I was called back, I had to give a urine sample (not pregnant), got weighed, got a finger prick to check my hemoglobin, had my temp taken (99!  Very high for me who usually runs 97.8), and my blood pressure taken (I don’t remember the numbers but they were very good.).  Then I went into a room to wait for the doctor.  She came in, went over my chart, explained the procedure, and answered my questions.  (She is going to go in through my belly button, pump gas into my belly, and then check everything out.) After that, she checked my heart and lungs and then had me lie down so she could check my belly. She showed me where my new little scars would be and how to care for the steri-strips afterwards.  I am to take it easy for 2 to 3 days and wear loose filling pants.  She is going to prescribe Percoset for pain and I am to let her know if I experience and excess bleeding, pain, or nausea.  The risks are minimal but the knowledge gained from this should be immeasurable.

In other news, I am back in class 6 weeks from tonight.  I have my financial aid already applied for and should receive my award letter next week.  I have the book I need for my first class and they ordered the book I need for the second. After that second class, a new semester and the road to my final three classes begins.  I again have access to my college email and student web page.  It’s all coming back to me now.  As stressed out as I was last year and as much as I thought I may never return to school again, I realize now, how much I missed it all and can’t wait to get back in there. (Remind me of that when I’m taking my 4th class and am under the weight of the pile and can’t see the light at the end of the very short tunnel.)

This weekend is supposed to be 80 degrees and sunny.  How am I not supposed to plant stuff with weather like that? Monday could be close to 90.  All the little seeds we planted to flower inside are springing up into lovely little green sprouts.  We had to move the pots to the bedroom though as the kittens thought we were growing veggies for them to eat.  The first day the spouts appeared, all the green heads were nipped off by Chloe.  After that, the plants were moved and more have sprouted.  I just can’t wait.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another Step Forward

Guess what I did last night?  I registered for my last 5 classes at the college I was attending last year.  I have 5 classes standing between me and a BS degree in communications.  Just 5 classes.  I start in June and end in November and graduate the week after I turn 40.  My original goal had been to get my Bachelors degree before I turned 40.  I guess technically, I will have finished, but I won’t have the actual degree in hand until one week and one day after my 40th birthday.  Classes begin in just a little over a month. I am ready.

I forgot to mention in my previous entry that over the weekend, spring has really sprung.  The trees have really begun to leaf out and the flowering trees are full of blossoms.  I can’t wait until the lilacs and tulips bloom.  I am also still so anxious about being able to plant.  Bob has the red, white, and blue morning glories so I am trying to come up with some good blending colors to plant in the patio pots.  The railing planters will have ivy or spreading little flowers that hang.  Can’t. Wait.

I also forgot to mention that a stranger called me beautiful on Saturday night.  While at the Black and Blue Ball, I was up near the stage taking pictures.  There were 4 or 5 others there as well.  Strangely, we all had black shirts and blue jeans on though I was the only woman. At one point, the video crew that was there filmed the 5 or 6 of us up there.  One of the other photographers pointed them out to me and we kind of laughed.  Then he said it was because of me and I laughed it off.  Then he said, “No really.  You’re beautiful.”  And then he went off to get a shot from another angle.  Interestingly, I laughed it off no longer…I believed him.  When I told Bob about it later, he pretended to be all jealous but then he said, “Well duh.  He said it because you are.”  Bob thinks so, but I rarely do.  Still, it was nice to hear.

I have my pre-op doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon.  I am kind of hoping I am pregnant so I don’t have to go through with it.  But I doubt I am, so go through with it, I will.  Still, it’s all part of doing what needs to be done in order to have a baby.  The surgery is scheduled for a week from tomorrow.  Sheesh that seems soon.

I joined the forum at Mamapop today.  One of my favorite things to do is check out other members’ profiles and see where they are from.  As I was perusing, I began to think about all the people I know around the United States.  I used to live in New Jersey, Maryland, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  I have friends in all those states as well as Texas, California, Iowa, Washington, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Florida.  We don’t usually talk about our web surfing habits, but part of me wonders if any of the people who comment on sites I read or forums I’ve joined are actually people I know in real life.  Have you ever come across real life acquaintances in your web surfing/commenting?

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Still Need Coconut Husk Planter Inserts

The weekend was lovely! 

Friday night I went to Wal-Mart and ended up getting the weirdest assortment of stuff ever to be assembled in one cart.  I got hot dog buns, toilet cleaner, a black t-shirt, kitty litter, fish food, a shower curtain liner, light bulbs, 3 plastic divided plates, 5 plastic planters, hair color, shampoo, and I still couldn’t find the coconut husk planter fillers I was looking for.  Arg.  Anyway, the weather was amazing.  It was the perfect weather to roll down all the windows and blast the cheesy 80s music.  Someone next to me agreed because while I was blasting Walk Like an Egyptian, the guy in the car next to me was blasting Pour Some Sugar on Me.  We are dorks.

I stayed up LATE Friday night.  Bob got home from hanging with the guys a little after midnight.  When he came in, I was completely sucked in to a Discovery Channel show about the man who lived with wolves.  Bob rolled in and got sucked in as well.  It seems this guy was working with wolves somehow when a mother wolf rejected her three pups.  So he took it upon himself to teach these little baby wolves how to grow up to be actual, real wolves.  There is nothing cuter than a teeny tiny wolf pup howling with all its little teeny tiny mite.  This guy was amazing in his ability to “talk” with the wolves.  They considered him their Alpha and it wasn’t really challenged at all until he had to go away for 2 weeks.  When he came back, one of the now full grown wolves had assumed Alpha status so this guy had to some in and be all submissive and stuff.  They could have killed him and yet never did. It probably helps that he raised them from newborns.  Still, it was a fascinating show.

I woke up earlier than I wanted on Saturday.  Still, I made it a productive morning by getting my hair cut, making a run to Goodwill, and filling my tank with gas.  When I got home, I threw open all the windows and sliders to let in the sweet summer warmth we were experiencing.  The cats were in heaven!  When Bob got up, I went out onto the patio and organized it for spring planting season.  I also put up a small amount of fencing on the bottom of our balcony railing to better keep the cats contained.  I ran out after one section but have not been able to find the same stuff for the rest of the railing, so I’m not sure what will to do about the rest.

The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent getting ready for our favorite MDA fundraising event, the Black and Blue Ball.  We left our place at 6 and had plans to meet friends at the check in desk by 6:30.  Except we were late because I passed our exit and then couldn’t find parking right away.  Still, when we got there, our friends were no where to be found.  We meandered and mingled a bit.  I took pictures, got a temporary tattoo, and a martini.  About the time we thought to use our cell phone to call our friends, they called us.  They said they were at the place where we said to meet but they couldn’t find us.  Since we were standing right there, I asked them if they were at the lobby of the River Centre.  Ohhhhh, no.  They were in the lobby of River Place.  We were in St. Paul and they were in Minneapolis.  D’oh!  They said they would hightail it and meet us as soon as possible.  They made it JUST in time for dinner.

The Black and Blue Ball was so much fun.  There was a really eclectic group of people in attendance.  At one table there was a bunch of Hell’s Angels, another table featured executives from a local broadcasting giant, another had a Harley Davidson motorcycle club, another had execs from a local waste management company, and yet another held family and friends of those afflicted with MD.  There was a free martini bar, free temporary tattoos, a silent auction, mingling with roller derby girls, and lots of Harley Davidsons.  Dinner consisted of chicken, new potatoes, and green beans.  Dessert was yummy cheesecake.  The live auction featured a Harley, a puppy, a trip, and a giant playhouse among other things.  The evening ended with the awesome music stylings of GB Leighton.  SO! MUCH! FUN!  Bob kept worrying about the Hell’s Angels being there.  He kept saying it would just take one wrong look from someone to start a brawl and he hoped that didn’t happen.  It didn’t.  Sometimes you can take the boy out of the Northside but you can’t take the Northside out of the boy.

I will say that apparently I have aged overnight.  Bob and I danced for several songs and I felt great.  Yet, when I got up the next morning, I was so sore, I could barely move.  My calves, my back, my neck, and my feet felt as though they’d been rolled under a steamroller.  I also had a giant blister on the pad of my left foot (Which is still there and is still painful).  When did I become such a crone?  Since when can I not spend a night dancing and wake up free of pain?  Anyway, it was fun and I really recommend this fundraiser to anyone looking for a good cause and a good time.  Check out my Flickr badge for photos from the event.  As I drove home from the ball, AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds was playing on the radio and it seemed like the most appropriate song after partying with the Harleys and Hell’s Angels.  Heh.

Yesterday started out so beautiful.  I drove to a local greenhouse to see if they had anything I could use in my patio planters.  They did, but I’m not sure it is what I am looking for.  However, the flowers at the greenhouse were so beautiful and the sun so bright and the weather so warm, it took all my strength and will power NOT to buy flowers and go home and plant them.  I cannot wait until Mother’s Day weekend so I can finally beautify our patio with flowers.  Yay!

While yesterday started out beautiful, it did not end on such a high note.  At about two, the wind picked up to such a startling level, our cats freaked out.  Two of them hid, while the other two walked around with that startled puffy tail cats get when they are scared.  I had to close all the windows and sliders because the wind was so strong; it was blowing things around our apartment.  Then the rain started.  It rained pretty much the rest of the day.  The combination of wind and rain took out our satellite signal, but since I had stuff on tape, I was not too upset.  It also gave me time to upload all my photos from the night before without distraction.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend full of fun, friends, fundraising, and flora. 

Friday, April 20, 2007

Trying to Appear Busy

It is a gorgeous day here in the Twin Cities.  My co-worker and I are struggling with spring-itis and trying not to bolt from our chairs and play hooky for the rest of the day.  It’s supposed to be 80 tomorrow and next Saturday is opening day at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.  Yay!  Spring is finally making an appearance.  I even noticed buds on the trees in our courtyard. 

Man, speaking of spring, I have the gardening bug so bad right now.  I want to get in and get dirty.  I want to dig my hands deep in the dirt and plant stuff.  Unfortunately, we are in gardening zone extreme north and it is not recommended we plant anything until after mother’s day.  When the weather is nice like it has been, it’s hard to remember that we have gotten snow and frost into May before.  Two years ago I did the March of Dimes walk on May 1st and it snowed.  Last year it rained and turned to sleety/snow.  Maybe if I wait until after the first weekend of May I will be good to go.  So far we have morning glory seeds, sunflower seeds, and another flower I can’t remember all started in pots.  We are anxiously waiting their sprouting so we can transplant them into their permanent patio pots which will sit in our sunny west window until danger of frost is passed.

Someone suggested I buy the Ovusoft ovulation tracking software offered by the author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility.  I checked it out and liked it.  I went ahead and bought it and so far, so good.  I like it A LOT better than using the paper charts.  Every morning I take my temp and then put the thermometer next to my alarm clock.  When I actually get out of bed, I take the thermometer with me to the office and log my morning temp onto my chart.  It’s handy and easier to read and really appeals to my anal, organized side.  Plus, I can keep track of it all on my computer and then print out any charts as I need to.  If my RE needs to see evidence of infertility or other issues, I just print the month (s) requested and bring it in.  Easy peasy.  Thanks to the one of you that suggested I try Ovusoft. So far, I love it.

The kittens are finally getting over their colds and now Daisy has it.  This thing has made the rounds through all 4 cats now.  Zoe is still a little stuffy.  Poor thing. It sounds like she is trying to breathe through rubble.  It sounds ten times worse when she’s been running around or is purring.  I am tempted to lock her in the bathroom with a hot shower running in hopes the steam will break up her congestion.  Or maybe some Vicks vaporub?  Just kidding about the Vicks.  I am hesitant to do the shower thing unless Zoe is supervised though.  She is our dim kitty and I don’t want her getting burned because she though it was safe to jump in the shower while the hot water was running.

I am feeling better about my relationship with Bob.  When I wrote the ranty secret post last week, I was really emotional and tired and just frustrated.  Most of the stuff I wrote was selfish and due to some inner frustration.  I am feeling much better now though.  I had quite a few people ask for the invite to read the post, but very few had any words of wisdom for me.  Those that did, thanks!  I appreciate your candor and input and am really honored that you would take the time to pass along some wisdom and girl talk.  It really means a lot to me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The End of Tax Season

Sorry it’s been a while.  Now that the tax season rush is over, I have a little bit of time to sit down and breathe.  What has happened since my last post?  Hmmm, let’s recap.

·       Bob and I agreed to try to get together every other day for baby making.  Except for one off day, so far, so good.

·       I met with some of my former classmates from my night class on Saturday night.  There were 3 couples and me. Two of the women there were pregnant, 1 with twins.  Both were a surprise to me.  (We keep in touch and yet no one told me about the babies.)  Also, I found out another classmate that couldn’t make it to the dinner is leaving her husband because he’s psycho.  It’s amazing what you learn when you actually meet in person instead of relegating your interaction to an email every other month or so.

·       Our cat Maisey had a stuffy nose, sniffles, and sneezes.  She came through it OK but now both kittens are walking around like they have rocks stuffed in their nostrils.  Poor babies.  If you have never had a cat with a cold, it can be someone entertaining.  At least until they sneeze on you.  Gah.

·       Bob’s wheelchair went in for repairs.  We found out the part could take 3 weeks to show up.  They said they would bring a loaner in the meantime.  They did.  It was a child’s chair.  Bob barely fits in it.  Now they say his wheelchair should be ready Thursday or Friday.

·       Unless I happen to get pregnant this month, my laposcopy is scheduled for May 3rd.  I am anxious to see what they will find in there.

·       Speaking of finding, a good friend of mine had a hysterectomy yesterday because doctors found a large fibroid in her uterus.  I sent flowers and then called her cell.  Her husband said she was resting comfortably.  I thank those of you who may have said a prayer for her.

·       This Saturday night is the MDA Black and Blue Ball at the St. Paul River Centre.  If you are looking for something fun to do that night, I highly recommend it.  GB Leighton and band will be playing and we will be dancing the night away.  Not only that, but Ketel One will be there with a martini bar.  It’s a great cause and lots of fun.  Come on down and party with us.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th...Believe the hype

Do you believe in Friday the 13th?  I never did until today.

It started last night when Bob picked me up from work so we could drive together to our monthly MDA event planning meeting.  We arrived a little early and waited at the hostess podium for help.  When the hostess acknowledged us, we said we were there for the MDA event planning meeting.  We were met with a blank stare and right away we knew we were in trouble.  We listed the name of the guy in charge, the name of the event, the name of the second in charge, and all the nicknames we knew of, only to be told no one was here for any such meeting.  Of course I didn’t have anyone’s contact numbers on me so we resigned ourselves to the fact that we were alone in a sports bar on a Thursday night.  Then we did what anyone would do, we got a table and ordered some food.  It was pretty good.  Still, we wondered why we were the only ones who showed up.  Did we miss a meeting?  Did it get postponed?  Did some kind of horrible auto accident occur in where everyone but us was involved?  It just didn’t make sense.  We were also miffed because we skipped our financial freedom class to attend the monthly planning meeting.

Friday the 13th continues this morning.  I woke up late, remembered we didn’t have milk or eggs so even if I had time to make a quick breakfast, I didn’t have the stuff to do it.  So, I drove to the bagel shop.  On the way, I remembered that my library books are due.  The library books I left on the table next to our front door so I would remember to take them with me on the way to work.  The library books that were still sitting on the table next to the front door as I drove passed the library on my way to the bagel place.  I get to the bagel place and see there are no parking spaces close by.  This is weird for a Friday.  I park far away and as soon as I get out of my car, three cars leave spots right next to the door.  I walk in my bagel place and see a line.  Again, weird for Friday.  As I take my place in line, I see the bagel baskets are sorely lacking their usual ample supply of bagels.  The guy ahead of me ordered 2 bagel bunches and a regular bakers dozen, further depleting the selection. I noticed there were 3 of my favorite bagels left in the bin, but then the lady directly in front of me ordered bakers dozen and she took all three bagels left!  I looked in the bins and the only bagels left were the onion, sesame, and salt.  Arg!  I had to get my breakfast sandwich on a sesame bagel and I hate sesame bagels because the seeds get stuck in my teeth.  Also, the girl making my breakfast sandwich didn’t make any apologies for them not having more bagels on hand.  Apparently it was the fault of everyone before me who ordered large batches of bagels without calling ahead to alert the store of large orders.

I took my stupid sesame bagel to work.  When I got there, it became apparent right away that there was something wrong with our email/internet connections.  I called in a trouble ticket.  Then I noticed that the email connection issues were also messing with our fax server email in-box.  This was a major concern because we are in the midst of the busiest season for us…tax time.  Bankers make deposits and must fax us with the account information so we can match the deposit to the account right away and wire the funds to the insurance company with the correct account number info.  If we aren’t getting faxes, we are in huge doodoo.  I called and issued another trouble ticket then took the issue to my manager who escalated the issue up the chain.  We found out later that the server had to be rebuilt.  It took them 5 ½ hours to rebuild the server and fix the issue.

I had to run to the bank over lunch because of the stupidity of some bankers.  I had to wait in the autobank line for 25 minutes.  I got back to the office and tried to eat my lunch only to be told the server was working and faxes were coming in by the bunches.  No time off for lunch for me today.  I had to eat and work.

Things seem to have settled down now for a bit, but the day is not over yet.  I am scheduled to meet some girlfriends at a local Mexican restaurant for a birthday celebration.  I plan on enjoying a fruity margarita and some fish tacos.  Hopefully, the bad luck has turned and things will go back to normal.  I can’t celebrate too much tonight though as I have to be back at work bright and early tomorrow morning in anticipation of more faxes and deposits to all the procrastinator’s IRAs. 

I hope your day went much better than mine did.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's a Secret

Ummm, I’m pretty sure this entry is going to be ranty and probably also somewhat sloppy and because of the subject matter should probably NOT be read by members of my immediate family or anyone I’m related to by marriage since it has to do with the personal physical relationship I share with my husband. Oh, and look over there! Something shiny! Go see what it is and come back tomorrow and tell me, OK?

I am actually going to post this entry in a private blog I created some time ago for just such ranty raving entries. If you want access, email me (amiebea@[nospam] (Um...remove the [nospam] part to email me)

I kind of need some girlfriend-type advice here. Or at least the kind of sharing girlfriends do when they are hanging out together. I wanted to post this in my regular blog, but because the level of intimacy is somewhat racy, I feel it would be better in a protected site all its own. If you email me and I say no, it’s only to protect your delicate sensibilities. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


We got a couple inches of snow today. It's April 11th and we got snow all day. It feels more like December than April. In fact, when I stopped by my local coffee shop, the barista asked me if I had all my Christmas shopping done. Heh.

Man, if you are interested in getting your brain working, I highly suggest tuning in to the Mars Hill church podcast. They are out of Grand Rapids, MI and every Sunday messageI've listened to so far has really made me think.

The sermon this past Sunday was about the Resurrection. Well, duh, it was Easter Sunday's sermon after all. However, pastor Rob Bell made the correlation that because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, all things have the potential of being resurrected. Relationships, health, emotions, and ourselves. Yet sometimes things fall apart and die or break or are destroyed. Jesus never fails though things around us die and fall apart.

As I listened, I thought again about my empty womb and prayed for resurrection to occur there. That what appears to be dead and empty, would become full of life. (OK, not full as in a litter of babies, but full as in one baby brought to term at a time.)

Pastor Rob talked about people struggling with unbelief, grief, or frustration with God can be compared to the tomb before the resurrection while those who are buoyant in their faith and firm in their belief are the tomb after resurrection. That's why we need one another. Those who are firm in faith can stand beside those who are struggling and spur them on, encourage, and hold on them.

My friends Kara, Laurie, Helen, and Lisa were firm in their faith and belief when I was struggling. Their faith in God and love towards me helped me to get to a place where I can say I believe again. They stood by me when it felt like all the world fell away. Getting back to where I am now may not be complete resurrection of faith, but it certainly is close. I don't know where I would be without my friends' faith, love, grace, and care.

Speaking of wombs/tombs, I have been charting my waking temperatures but I'm not sure I am doing it right. I am supposed to take it in a state of half asleepedness, but I tend to wake up a couple of times a night and then have trouble getting back to sleep. The book says the optimal conditions are to have at least 4 hours of sleep before taking the temps. If I wake up at 3 am and fall back to sleep, that means I'd have to sleep until 7 in order to have the optimum conditions for good waking body temperature. Ever since getting off my period, my body temps have been steadily climbing. Every morning is higher than the next. Since I haven't charted in so long, I'm not sure if this is normal and I'm not sure if it's leading to actual ovulation.

A good friend of mine is having a hysterectomy on Tuesday. She is my age and is going to have surgery to remove her uterus. She has three children, but it's still devastating to hear there is an issue that requires removal of a womb to solve it. Please think good thoughts and pray prayers for my friend for Tuesday.

The kittens turned one yesterday. We don't think of them as our children so we didn't throw them a party. I just served them wet food instead of dry. OK, I did put a candle in the wet food just for fun. Hee. Still, they are one now and we can't stop calling them "The Kittens".

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's April 10th

This is our forecast for the next 4 days. Look at the calendar. It's not January. It's April. Where is my Spring?

Things at work are crazy busy. I will never understand why people wait until the very last minute to make their IRA contribution. However, it's making my work day fly by. Love it.

Speaking of which...are your taxes done?

Friday, April 06, 2007

celebrating hope, celebrating life

Its Good Friday. Today is the day that Christians traditionally believe our Savior was tortured, teased, jeered, taunted, stripped, whipped, and nailed to a cross to die.  While it is typically a somber day, it is not a traditionally sad day because traditional Christians believe Jesus miraculously rose from the dead 3 days later, which is why we celebrate Easter.

As Ive been reflecting on Easter and the new life Christ affords us through His death and resurrection, I cant help but think about the tomb where Jesus was laid after his death. I bet that cave was cold, dark, and empty.  I know it might be a stretch to say this, but that tomb/cave reminds me of my womb. To me, my womb feels cave or grave like.  It is empty.  I am sure it is dark (Never having seen it myself, I can only assume).  Its not cold, but it is probably somewhat damp.  Still, it is empty.  It has never known an inhabitant.  I have often felt as though a stone were rolled in front of my little womb, preventing inhabitation.  And while I know the grave is associated with death, in Jesus’ case the cave is ultimately associated with life because he didnt stay dead, he arose and left it.

So, this Easter weekend, I am going to pray for my womb stone to be rolled away.  I know that there is power in prayer and in the faith behind prayer.  I am going to pray for life and for a resurrection of life inside my womb.  I am going to pray that the stone I feel is blocking my womb (figuratively speaking) will be rolled away. I am going to reflect on all things new and alive.  I am going to seek the face of Him who gives us eternal life and pray for him to fill my womb with its own little life.

Even though it is currently 18 degrees here today and more reminiscent of December than spring, Easter and April bring more thoughts of spring than of winter.  We begin to look forward to new buds on trees and flowers growing.  Its a time for baby animals to be born and all of the land begins to show signs of fertility.  I am going to pray for my and Bobs fertility and begin to let hope bloom anew.  Something tells me that the God of the miraculous is not done making miracles yet.  This time, I pray he sends one our way.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Moving Forward

I received word today that one of my photos will be printed in a fine periodical and as compensation; I will be receiving $100!  Sweet!  I had to create an invoice and everything.  This will change our tax reporting next year, now, won’t it?  Get me, I’m getting money for my photos. Does that make me a professional now?

The Red Spa

Man, I feel like crap.  I wish western women of today had held fast to the traditions of old pertaining to that time of month.  Specifically the tradition of the red tent.  I could use 4-7 days of separation and coddling this week.  Maybe we could update it so that instead of a tent, we go to a spa.  The red spa.  And we get facials, massages, pedicures, and deep conditioning treatments.  And we lie in a warm, dark room with plinky, tinkly music playing softly in the background.  And there is cheese on hand.  Cheese and chocolate and just ripe fruit.  Yeah, that would make me feel better for sure.

I have the world’s most tenacious headache.  I woke up with it around 4 this morning and it’s still hanging on.  I took 2/3 of a 500mg Vicodin and that was a mistake.  ¼ Vicodin?  Fine.  ½ Vicodin?  Fine.  2/3 Vicodin?  Must. Lay. Down.  Please. Stop. Room. From. Spinning. Gah!

The weather isn’t helping.  What happened to spring?  How was it 80 degrees 9 days ago and today it was 0?  The highs over the next 5 days are not expected to get over 30.  The changes to the barometric pressure have been wrecking havoc on Bob’s body too.  He has gone to bed before 8pm twice this week and is really smiling through a lot more pain.

 I finished reading “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” last night.  It sounds weird, but I am really hopeful that this is our year to get pregnant.  The author of the book is very encouraging and offers tips to getting pregnant using FAM.  She even suggests ways to use fertility technology in addition to FAM.  I really must purchase this book to have on hand at all times.  I’ve had it out from the library for the maximum time allowed and really am sad to have to take it back.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


It’s April 3rd and it’s snowing.  Not a lot, but enough to be called snow. 

The theme of 2007 is FORWARD.  (It’s also the WI state motto, but that’s just a coincidence.)  In the interest of moving forward, I have made some strides forward in a couple of areas.

First, I called the college I was attending up to June of last year.  I only have 5 classes left to take in order to graduate with a degree in Communications.  They are sending me a packet of info to re-apply and re-register.  Classes start June 7th and go through November.  Graduation is in December.  I am thisclose to being done.

Second, I called my RE’s office and asked if I could schedule the endoscopy I was supposed to have last year at this time but never had because of DEPRESSION 2006.  The nurse called me back and said they had an opening on May 3rd at 1pm and did I want it.  I did and I am.  I have a pre-op appointment with the RE on April 26th.   I’m not sure where to go after that, but I only have to take one step at a time to move forward.

Part of the reason I finally picked up the phone and called the RE is because my period showed up yesterday and immediately began kicking my butt.  There is no reason I should have to take 500mg of Vicodin in order to get through the first 2 to 3 days of my period.  If the pain isn’t due to endometriosis, then I don’t know what else to do.  During the endoscopy, the doctor will remove any polyps or scar tissue or webbing she may find.  If she doesn’t find anything, I am at a loss as to why my period has reverted back to jr. high/high school strength.  I’m 39 now; I think I should have some kind of handle on cramps after almost 27 years of periods, don’t you?

No forward movement yet on the photography business front or on vacation planning.  Bob does mention every day how excited he is about the vacation.  We do know that we will take our time getting west but that we may be white knuckling it to get home in time for me to get back to work.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where is My Spring Time?

Its April 2nd and spring has never felt farther away.  It has been cool and rainy and grey and dreary for a week now.  According to our weather forecast, the clouds and rain continue through Wednesday (at times mixed with snow) and when the sun finally comes on Thursday, the high is only supposed to be 34 degrees.  Brrrrr.  March came in like a lion and went out like a cold, wet, lamb.

The weekend was good.  Saturday morning found me wide awake and restless at 7:30.  Rather than fight it and get a few more hours of restless sleep, I just got up and took the laundry to the Laundromat.  While the clothes washed and then dried, I ran errands.  It was wet and rainy, but I took my camera with me.  Turns out, wet and rainy does not really inspire me photographically speaking as much as warm and sunny.  I also found out that Penzys Spices and Yum Bakery are just as much fun in the rain as in the sun. 

Once my laundry was washed, dried, and folded, it was time to meet my friend Karra for lunch.  We met at the 50s CafĂ© and it was yummy.  They make everything from scratch and its always yummy.  Karra and I sat and talked.  And talked.  And talked.  In fact, we got there at noon, had lunch, and talked until the dinner rush began.  We talked so long that our sever left and a new shift started.  Dont worry, I compensated our server well.  She had left an envelope for her tip and I tipped her 50%.  Not just because we took up real-estate for 5 hours, but because she was attentive and refilled our drinks the whole time (until she left).

Sunday, I actually went to church.  Bob tried to make it but was feeling yucky and stayed home to rest.  It was really hard.  I havent been to church in this building for over 9 or 10 months.  My friend Karra met me there and made it easier for me, but it was still really difficult.  Next Sunday we are planning on attending the church Bobs brother pastors and after that, were not sure.  Thankfully, I was warmly welcomed by many and didnt feel like I was visiting.  I was even asked to take pictures at the upcoming womens retreat. 

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning my kitchen.  Bob was convinced that the ant poison we put down last fall was making him sick.  So I took everything out of the cupboards and off the counters and I cleaned and wiped and scrubbed everything into pristine cleanliness.  I even cleaned out our fridge and freezer.  I also spot cleaned our carpet in hopes of trying to make my head stop hurting every time I look at it.  It looks better now, but with 4 cats, someone is bound to yak up their dinner on it sooner or later.

I finished reading a really good book over the weekend.  Its called Through Painted Deserts by Don Miller.  Its a memoir of a road trip he took with a friend from Houston, TX to Oregon and how God met them in big and little ways throughout.  Its also about the simplicity of life.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it for anyone struggling to find their why.  I like Dons writing style and wonder if he talks to people in person the way he writes books.  I am waiting for his other books to become available at our local library.  Im hoping Blue Like Jazz is next but will be happy with whatever shows up.

My period is due today.  So far its been a no show but the PMS symptoms have been too prevalent to doubt its impending arrival.  However, I arrived at work today ill prepared.  No pads, no pain meds, no chocolate.  Someone at church asked me yesterday if I hated God because he wouldnt give me babies.  I thought about it and said that I did but I dont any more.  Ive worked through the hatred and anger and am trying to get to a point of acceptance.  Maybe Ill never get there, but I am learning that the important part of the journey is to keep moving forward.