Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Call off the search party!

Call off the search pary! I'm alive! =)

Today out of nowhere, (and I still have no idea why), I randomly decided to log into my blog which has been neglected for about 6 months now. What I have learned is I have really good streaks, then leave for about 6 months, have another good streak, and then disappear for another 6 months. It's a cycle I guess. Honestly it's not because I don't enjoy blogging, life just gets so busy! We are all busy, I totally get that! I have no excuse.

In September I took a part time job at the YMCA teaching swimming lessons two nights a week. Not terrible hours and the extra money is nice. Not too bad for a part time job in addition to my full time job. But soon "Not too bad" turned into "I think I remember having a life?".

Backing up, soon after I started that part time job (actually my second day I was supposed to teach) I ended up getting hospitalized and scheduling surgery to get my appendix removed. After that, I swear the anesthesia took about 2 months to wear off. Or removal of the appendix is somehow scientifically linked to partial removal of your brain as well. I was the most forgetful person I had ever been in my life and I was incredibly disturbed by it! I am usually very organized and on top of things and my brain wasn't allowing it. Working 50 hours a week didn't help either. I know it sounds crazy, but getting myself to work dressed, with a purse, cell phone, a swimsuit, and lunch was all of a sudden a challenge. Was it seriously linked to surgery? Doubtfull. Coinsidence? Possibly! Either way, my brain was failing me and I needed all the brain power I could squeeze out of it!

After things finally seemed to be getting back to normal, my class started up at Restore Hope again, which is a transitional housing facility for homeless single mothers. I teach them Boundaries and Life Skills. The exact same week one of the other girls who teaches swimming lessons called to ask me if I could take over one of her nights through the rest of the session. With me never being able to ever say no, I agreed. (Ooooo secret weakness revieled.) So now I work my full 40 hours at my "grown up job", teach one night a week at Restored Hope and teach swimming lessons the other three nights a week at the YMCA. I literally leave my house at 7 in the morning and don't get home until almost 9 at night every day.

Ok so that may have sounded like an excuse for my lack of existance here, but it's the truth I promise! But the important part is that I am back! For now. No really. Hopefully I can keep this going for real now. I think I'm going to put reminders on my calendar. That should help! The other good news (besides me being back of course) is that I'm taking the next session off from teaching swimming lessons. Mostly because of winter and the fact I live so far away from where I work. I really don't want to be stranded an hour away from my house because of snow. So I have one more week after this week and I'll actually get to go directly home after work until March! I am beyond ready for the break.

That has pretty much been my life in a nutshell for the last 6 months. (And give me some credit, it's really only been like 5 months!) Now things are just busy because of Christmas, but again, aren't we all! I did some really cute pinterest things for Christmas this year and am going to do some more this weekend and fully intend on documenting here! *Sneak peak: (Ok not a peak at all. I have no pictures.) *Sneak foreshadowing?: I'm making another attempt at cakeballs! You can read about my previous experience with these. I have high hopes this time and as you may guess, they will be Christmas related! (Gasp!)

Ok the ramblings of this post will now end as I do have work to do. Tune in Monday (or maybe Tuesday if we're being honest) to see how my weekend Pinterest Projects went! (This is how long it's been since I've been on here. I totally forgot I added a Pinterest tab to this blog!) more thing before I start working...adding blog times to my calendar! Good faith effort?

Ok another "one more thing" because I really feel as though I must add a picture to this post. We semi-added a new member to our family. She was already partly a member, but she has kind of been officially adopted. This is Reggie (Short for Regina. We didn't name her.) She is/was Josh's brother's dog and they never took care of her and she's been an outdoor dog for a few years now. She's learned where we live and we have hearts and can't bare to make her stay an outdoor dog so she's now our dog. Dog and cat do NOT get along. I'm sure I'll have lots of those stories to post as well. Sigh.

She didn't take long in adjusting to being an indoor dog.

And she obviously knows how to get warm!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cake balls: attempt #1

So in an earlier post I posted a picture of cake balls that looked like an American flag. I had never made cake balls before, but thought this would be doable. But with the 4th of July on a Wednesday, that made things tricky. (The 4th of July in the middle of the week is really not convenient. Both for cooking purposes and staying up late then having to go to work the next day.) So Monday night I bought the ingredients, but didn't have time to make the cake. Josh didn't have to work on Tuesday, so I took a risk and asked him to make the cake for me Tuesday so it could be cooled by the time I got home from work. This is a risk because this is the man who was trying to make brownies and came out with a pan and said "How big do you think this is?" and before I could answer said, "Nevermind, I have a tape measure." and proceeded to measure the pan. But I came home from work and there was a cake! He's come a long way.

I crumbled the cake, added the frosting, and made them into balls. (This mortified Josh after he made such a nice cake, I destroyed it. Oh well!) I took pictures of all of this, but for some reason they are uploading to this site all discolored and cut off. =( Not sure what the deal is!

Now came time for the chocolate, the scariest part. I melted the chocolate with the vanilla wafer things and added blue food coloring. After that, my friend who DOES bake taught me this: Any liquid added to chocolate causes it to "seize" which means as soon as I added food coloring, my chocolate got REALLY hard. My friend told me I needed the powder food coloring. The problem with that is it was Tuesday night and I live 45 minutes from the city. Going to the store wasn't, and didn't, happen. So I decided that these cake balls would just be white. I got one of the colors right!

I put the balls in the freezer for a bit and dipped half of each of them, let them cool on a cake pan. (I didn't put them on sticks so the bottom flattening out was ok) Holding the flat bottom I then dipped the other half and placed them back on the flat bottom to cool so the tops stayed round.

In the end they didn't turn out terrible, just not how I anticipated. After the chocolate fiasco, I was defeated, but glad I ended up salvaging them minus the creativity part. They were really good! I took them to the BBQ anyway and they were all almost gone by the end of the night.

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July! It was hot but we swam in Josh's parent's pool and it was very nice. Work today on the other hand, was rather annoying. But tomorrow is FRIDAY! =)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Warrior

I know "weekend warrior" is a term/name for people in the National Guard; I think because they go to drill on the weekends, (and I honestly have no clue if they like this term or not, so I have no intentions of offending anyone with it! Maybe someone could tell me so next time I'll know. =) ) but some weekends I feel like I do more/harder work on the weekends than I do during the week at my job!

Like I mentioned in my last post, Joshs' grandma stayed with us Wednesday through Sunday. I really enjoyed having her there. She was a great help and motivator. She was also good company to have when Josh and his brother went fishing all night. Friday night we just hung out and Josh's nephews came over to play as well. They are so stinking cute! Here they are playing in the dirt in a giant hole in our yard. (There used to be a windmill there with a concrete base that we pulled out and have clearly never refilled the hole.)

Saturday we had Brayden go through all his toys and pick out which ones he was donating to little kids who don't have toys. I think he is going to be a hoarder like his father. I will break this trait while he's young! He had a really hard time letting his toys go, but I think he did a good job and we are donating a lot of barely used toys! Then we completely organized his room.

What I have learned about this age: He is old enough to clean his room but not old enough to have my organization OCD so nothing gets put back away where it "belongs". That is how his room got to be such a disaster. Not sure if I just make him "clean" his room so it's picked up and then go back in and organize later, or what I should do. I'll take advice on this one!

After we got Brayden's room done, we tackled the windows. We cleaned the inside and outside of every window in my house which I know the outside of the windows hadn't been cleaned since we moved in 6 months ago and who knows how long ago before that. It really is the small things. All I wanted to do the rest of the day was look out my amazingly clean windows! =) After the windows, we cleaned the kitchen and living room and by that time it was almost 8:00. We literally worked and cleaned all day long just breaking to eat lunch.

By that time the boys (including kids) had already left to go fishing so we treated ourselves to going out for dinner then home to watch ID TV (The channel that has all those shows about murder mysteries and crimes and things. Kind of like 20/20 specials. We both love 20/20 as well.) which is a guilty pleasure for both of us. I'm not sure if that makes us twisted, but the things people do not only disturbs me deeply, but is also kind of interesting. I just wonder how people's minds work. How a person gets that crazy. Maybe I should have been a psychiatrist.

Sunday we had to go to a birthday party for both Josh's little cousin and his sister's boyfriend's daughter. That was a good time but a bad day. Not because of the party, but because being a step-mom is hard as hell. One of the hardest and most rewarding things I'll probably ever do. We get Brayden every Friday after work through Sunday. Since Josh's grandma asked to get him on Wednesday (remember my previous post that I didn't know she was coming on Wednesday) his mom decided she wanted to keep him next weekend. Typically not a big deal, but next weekend we had plans of taking him to my hometown to spend time with my family. I was just frustrated because she didn't ask to see if that was ok and it wasn't us asking to get him early this week, it was really his grandma. And I'm not a biological parent so of course their family functions get priority, as it should, but it's still hard. I just realized I need to find a blog of a step-mom! I need a support group for this just like I used to be in for military significant others! I will take suggestions on those too if anyone knows of any!

This was on Sunday on our way into town for the birthdays. He put his hat over his face just like his dad does and slept in the car. He cracks me up and is so stinking cute. I love him so much!

So I'm trying to stay positive and this weekend I'm going to make Josh take me on a date since we changed our plans of going back home this weekend to next weekend. We were going to do that (a date) Sunday after the birthday but had to drop off Brayden in a town that was half way home, so it didn't happen. #1 crappy part in living in a small town an hour away from the city, but after driving in the city on Sunday, I have no idea how I lived there as long as I did! There is definitely peace in our little town. =)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Challenge Days 4 and 5

Today is Day 5 of Jenna's Commenting Challenge, but I had no time to get on here yesterday, so I'll combine with Day 4 as well. =) It's the last day of the challenge but so glad I did it! I found some really good blogs to follow!

Yesterday was a pretty crazy day. Actually Wednesday night onward has been pretty crazy. Josh's grandma was planning on coming up to stay with us for the weekend Thursday night. (His grandma lives in the city about 45 minutes away from our teeny tiny town so she doesn't make it up often. We just lost Joshs' grandpa in March, her husband, and she's still been adjusting to life without him, as we all have.) So we were already planning to ask to get Brayden Thursday night instead of Friday like we usually do so they could spend the day together on Friday. I got home Wednesday (house is a mess because I've been boycotting cleaning since Josh doesn't seem to understand the concept and that I constantly pick up after him) and he gets home about 6 and tells me his grandma called him an hour ago and she's on her way up. So of course, now I have to go into crazy cleaning mode. (Interesting how we have these portable things called cell phones that he could have instantly called me after speaking with his grandma to give me a little heads up, but like I mentioned with the cleaning boycott, he is somehow blind to the filth.)

5 minutes later she pulls into my driveway and all efforts have failed. Also, because we didn't know she was coming, we didn't ask to get Brayden. So she called and asked and they said ok and then it was back in the car for the 30 minute drive to pick him up. Then a quick stop at the grocery store so they would have something to eat the next two days while Josh and I are at work. (I try to plan out our meals and typically only have enough for dinner for the week and grocery shop on the weekend so our cupboards were getting bare.) Josh's nephew (3) was so excited to see Brayden and his great grandma he wanted to spend the night, which was fine. So I now had 3 extra people that up until just a few hours prior, I wasn't expecting. But family is always welcome and I was happy we could all be together, just a little unplanned!

So we finally get to bed Wednesday night and I have to get up on Thursday and go to work for 8 hours and then go to an evening meeting because one of the hospital systems here just bought our University hospital where I work. (I work at the University, not the hospital, but in the School of Nursing so the hospital is an important part of our department.) The meeting was supposed to get done at 7:30 and of course didn't until 8:00 and then I had about an hour drive home. Get home and Brayden was at Josh's mom's house (less than a mile down the road) but of course no one remembered to give him his medicine. (He had strep so he's on antibiotics for 10 days) So I had to run the medicine down only to realize at 9:30 that we wouldn't have enough out of this bottle for the morning dose. So then I had to get in touch with his other grandma who had the other half of the medicine to get her to drop that off so he had it in the morning. It was a non stop day! Moral of the story...I work better being able to PLAN for things!

To address the challenge questions though! Day 4: Hobbies! I feel like I used to have way more of these than I do now. I love to dance and in college we went out dancing all the time, but now, not so much. I also love to crochet. My grandma taught me when I was young so it's something I always do to keep her close to me. I do not care for cooking or baking, but want to learn to like it, if that's possible. I like crafting as well!

Day 5: Vacation! I love the ocean and beaches so pretty much anywhere that includes that! I really would love to go somewhere tropical. We went on a big trip to Florida with Josh's entire family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) and it was so much fun. I would go back. Here is a picture of the whole gang at the beach! We also went to Disney as well. We had a 5 car convoy to get us all down there. (We live in Nebraksa to give you an idea of how that went! I did do a blog about it though so you can read more about the trip here!)

Since I worked a 12 hour day yesterday, I'm hoping to sneak out of work a little early today and get an early start to the weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend as well and stay cool! We have crazy hot temps here right now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Challenge Day 3

Still on track with the Jenna's commenting challenge! Today is about social media so it might be a short post. =)

The social media I use the most is Facebook. Like I mentioned before, all of my family (and friends) lives at least 3 and a half hours away so I pretty much post my life there to keep them updated and am constantly on it to keep updated with their lives as well. Josh tells me I'm obssessed with it, but we live a mile away from his parents and all his family lives in the same town, so I don't think he understands  know he doesn't understand what it's like to only see them a few times a year. I also am in charge of my work's facebook as well, so I'm on it almost every day all day.

Facebook came out when I was in college (back when it was meant for college students) but I was on Myspace and liked that a lot better at the time. What I really liked about it was the ability to decorate and make my page my own. I used to have software where I made my own pictures and icons and electronic scrapbook pages. I LOVED doing that stuff! My computer crashed with the software and I never got it again. I need to start that back up again. I also need to learn how to do that stuff on here! Now, I never use Myspace. (Side note: I do love making my own invitations and flyers and things. At work everyone asks me to make bridal or baby shower invitations or flyers for classes and things. I like to be creative and am always happy to do it!) With that being said, a site I visit a lot is I have an album there to edit photos and such and view other images people post.

LOVE pinterest! You can find me here or the tab at the top of the page. Like I said, we just bought a new house that we completely redid so I have been going crazy with home decor ideas as well as things to do with Brayden and other "products I love". Such an awesome site!

I tried twitter once, but never really could figure that site out, so while I have an account, I never use it. Sites I do visit often would be This is a really neat type of social networking site for knitters and crocheters, if that may be you! It is a place where you can link to patterns and then people can link their finished projects to those patterns. So if I found a pattern for a scarf that I like, I can see what other people's scarves looked like that they made with the same pattern. Also, they can post advice or problems they came across while working on it. Very helpful.

I basically wake up in the morning with JUST enough time to get ready so sitting down to watch the news never happens, but I love watching it. So I typically visit my local news station as well as the Today Show. LOVE the Today Show. I love the crazy stories that you never imagine you will read about. There are a lot of crazy people in this world! On the other hand, I hate politics, so the news gets annoying during this time of year. I know, bad American. But until we get down to the actual election, I hate hearing all the bashing and trash talk of the candidates and what lies they tell and secret lives they live. So I pick and choose my news I guess.

I feel like I spend SO much more time on the internet than this! I guess these are my main sites though. From there the internet takes me anywhere. I am excited because now I have a lot more blogs to read!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blogging challenged

Since I have been a little blogging challenged for the first year of my blog, when I saw my friend Jenna was doing a blogging challenge, I decided this may be just what I need! She linked with another Jenna for the challenge so I have decided to do the same! I am a day behind so I am going to combine days one and two here!

Day 1: Tell us about you!

My name is Shannon. I am 26 years old and live in a very small town of 200 people in northwest Iowa about 45 minutes from Omaha, Nebraska. I currently work in Omaha, so I am not completely sheltered from the world in my little town. I was born and raised in a small Iowa town as well, and it is a lifestyle I have come to appreciate after living in Omaha for 7 years. I met my boyfriend of 3 years in Omaha, and we decided to move to his home town, where we just bought our house, to get out of the city and closer to his family, since mine lives 3 hours away. He has a little boy named Brayden who we get the pleasure of staying with us every weekend. He is 6 years old and so incredibly smart and grown up! Being a "step-mom" may be one of the hardest things I've ever done, but he makes it so worth it. I love him with all my heart. Here is our little family!

I also can't forget Carleigh! She is our 3 year old cat. She can be a little stinker sometimes, but she can also be the source of a lot of entertainment.

Day 1: Tell us about your blog!

I started this blog when I was just turning 25. For some reason, 25 was really hard for me. I call it my pre-life crisis. I thought that blogging would be a good way for me to document the things happening in my life and a good reflection back on what I have accomplished. I pretty much failed at blogging for the first year as I just turned 26. However, I really want to get back into it and have just started up again. That is one of the reasons I chose to do this challenge because I hope that it will get me interested and involved again. This blog is primarily about my life, random thoughts I have, and I hope it will be a place where I can share the crafts and crocheting projects I do. I love pinterest and have been trying a lot of things on there and would love to share them here as well. We also just bought a new house which we completely gutted and re-did. It is still a work in progress, but I am going to show our progress as well. I guess I am a DIY kind of gal. Thanks for stopping by! I hope to get to know lots of people through here!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fitting in getting fit

Obviously this is what every person in the world struggles with: weight and working out. It's so hard!

  • Wake up in the morning already way too early
  • Get ready for work
  • Go to work
  • Sit on your butt in a chair in front of a computer for 8 hours, (which is really 9 hours because you sit while you stuff your face with food over lunch too)
  • Come home and cook, eat some more, clean up, and then it's time for bed already (or maybe catching up on the DVR).
Basically, getting up before work is NOT an option and by the time I'm off work, all I want to do is go to bed. So the girls at work and I decided to start walking over our lunch break, which has been great! Not a ton of exercise, but it's better than nothing.

I have been doing really good at maintaining my weight ever since I got pretty sick about 3 years ago and lost a ton of weight due to not being able to keep any food in my stomach. (I know they say that's not healthy to do, and it's obviously not, but it sure worked for weight loss!) I was worried after I got my gallbladder out that since I was finally healthy for what felt like the first time in a very long time, that would all change, but have been proud of what I have been able to maintain. Now maintaining isn't good me.

So we discovered that the gym at work offers group fitness classes and some of them are over the lunch hour! We have determined this is the ONLY way we are going to get workouts in due to the above mentioned reasons (which may not be very good reasons, but they are our reasons nonetheless). So we eat lunch at our desks and then walk over to the gym for the 50 minute sessions of pilates or yoga. I have done pilates before but this was the first time for yoga. I must say, I really like it! They are pretty similar, but pilates has more movements with it's poses and yoga seems to be more about stretching and they are both about core building, which I need!

Next month we are going to add in more cardio days to get a good variety in our workouts but I'm actually starting to get excited about it, which isn't something I've been used to since high school probably. Here is what I found helps:

1. Buddy system! There is no way I would continue to keep this up if I didn't have people here to work out with that hold me accountable.
2. Time of day. I'm not a morning person and my evenings are too precious to me after working all day. I am lucky to get an hour for lunch which leaves enough time for a decent 50 minute workout. Granted, I may have to go through the afternoon sweaty, but I always bring things to fix my hair and make up and I know I can't smell THAT bad! :-)
3. Self esteem. Getting started kind of stinks, (and sometimes even day-to-day, my motivation is lacking) but once you get that feeling of accomplishment after your workout, it definitely makes me feel better about myself and wanting to keep going.
4. Afternoon snack. I usually try really hard to not snack in the afternoon. I eat a 110 calorie bagel with peanut butter when I get here and then my lunch. The thing about working out over lunch is I eat lunch before I go and by the time we're done, I'm starving again! Why this is a good thing is that I always WANT to snack in the afternoon, but now I'm actually hungry because I burned calories! So I have been bringing fruit and healthy snacks and feel better about snacking now that my body is actually asking for food and it's not me just wanting to put food in my mouth.

I don't know if I've actually lost weight. I stopped stepping on the scale a while ago. I should probably start again. But I do feel better about myself. My other motivation, other than the obvious, is the fact that someday soon there will be a wedding and I don't want to have to worry about it then. The other motivation is that our first yoga instructor was pregnant and she was one of those pregnant people that was nothing but belly. I want to be HER when I'm pregnant! :-) So I want to maintain it this time for real and I finally reached a point where I think I'll be able too. We have a good system that is working for us now and I'm super excited.

I will try to keep my progress updated here as well and maybe put up some of my favorite poses and stretches. That is one thing about yoga, I am constantly stretching which feels so good and I think releases a lot of built up tension which is probably why I feel so good afterward. I know there is a science behind it all, but this is the science of Shannon! :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unruly Crafters

My grandma Manfull taught me to crochet when I was somewhere around 4th or 5th grade. She was always crocheting or knitting something growing up and I have a lot of things from her that she made. After she passed away, that was a skill I never wanted to forget because that is one of the things I can say I learned from her. So I have been trying to make random things just to keep up with the skill. Here are a few things I have made and have pictures of.

A rug for the living room

A winter hat

A tree skirt for mom

Recently a friend passed this along to me about a great cause called CLICK for Babies. They are collecting crocheted or knitted baby hats made with purple yarn to raise awareness to prevent infant abuse. The baby hats will be distributed in hospitals to new born babies as an initiative to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying, how to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant. I will have to post pictures of the finished hats when I get them done!

By now you are probably wondering how "Unruly Crafters" relates to any of this. I'm getting there! There is this awesome site called which is a place for people to post patterns and finished projects of things they've knitted and crocheted. So if you are looking for a pattern, you can view pictures of what other people made with that same pattern and advice they have about completing the project. It really is a handy site! And where I plan on going to find patterns to make the above mentioned baby hats!

Every Olympic year they have an event called the Ravelympics. I've never participated, but my friend is this year. Basically it's a little "contest" where people see how many things they can knit or crochet while they are watching the olympics. No money is exchanged or formal awards given, other than people are named winners. The owner of the site received a letter from the General Counsel of the US Olympic Commitee asking them to change the name of their event because it was derived from the word "Olympics" and they aren't an official sponsor and not allowed to use that word. Ok....I see where they are coming from.

By the way, view the letter HERE. You have to see it.

So did you notice the part that caused the outrage? Asking to change the name of the event isn't a big deal in itself, but they went on to completely bash crocheters and knitters and it has caused quite the outrage. Here is the excerpt:

The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.
We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
I think they went a little too far. Personally, not to stereotype, when I think of people who knit and crochet, I think of my grandma! Little old ladies sitting at home with the TV on, watching the Olympics and knitting a sweater. I realize there are plenty of not old ladies who do as well, but that was the point of this event: to support the Olympics and have a fun friendly NON-PROFIT competition for those who wanted too on a free membership site. They are trying to portray people who sit at home and crochet/knit little baby hats to bring awareness to infant abuse as forming this huge event to disrepect Olympic athletes. I think it's all a little far fetched. All they had to do was ask them to change the name, which I can understand, but I also don't find to be a big deal either. Just my opinion though! I found it to be sad since there is so much excitement when it comes to the Olympic games and athletes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chapter 26

So I started this blog almost exactly a year ago when I was turning 25 and having a minor pre-life crisis as I like to call it. =) Now, I just turned 26 last week and I am happy to report it went MUCH better than 25. I was dreading it, but once it got here, not a big deal at all. 25 was a decent year. It had it's ups and downs which is to be expected. We took a great vacation to Florida, Josh and I both got a new jobs, Brayden finished kindergarden, and we bought a house! Unfortunately Josh's grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle all this year, which was incredibly hard on the entire family.

I know "Chapter 25" wasn't all that exciting here with my entire 9 posts, but I'm going to try to get better. I'm pretty sure I said that last post too. I have been revisiting my interest of pinterest (haha! I just reread that and didn't even notice how clever I am!) and have got a lot of cute ideas from there I think I could post about. I recently just did this to my bathroom. I didn't think of taking progressive pics for here at the time, but my cat keeps trying to lay in the baskets and making the towel bars fall off the wall, so I may get another opportunity to put them back up yet again!

I also found some cute things for the 4th of July that I'd like to try, but it is really unfortunate the holiday is on Wednesday because that means I would have to come home Tuesday night from work and cook, which I don't forsee happening. But who knows. I might give it a try! There are some cake balls (which I've never made before) and wouldn't mind attempting.

Cake truffles

So my goal for "Chapter 26" is to keep up-to-date on here (so Jenna doesn't yell at me). I really do enjoy blogging, but with all that ended up happening this year, things got crazy! I had a new job, Christmas, and bought a new house all within a month. I'm looking forward to another great year ahead that I can capture here and share with you all! =)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To ER or not to ER

Ive experienced some pain in my life and this wasn't the worst pain I've had by far, however on Friday when I started having sharp stomach pains in my lower right abdomen, I began the debate of "am I being a baby?" or "better safe than sorry." The pain was significant, but I was sure I could handle it and it would go away. Then people started telling me lower right means appendix and if it bursts it could be very bad. New year, new deductible, ER on a Friday night. What to do?

The "better safe than sorry" won the battle and after Josh's persistent urging to get me to go, we got in the car ER bound. Checked in at the desk and claimed my bench to lay down in the waiting room until the nurse called me back. First went the elderly man with his jacket on backward. He must have been in a hurry. Then the elderly lady who must have been in a car accident that day and refused to go to the hospital from what I could overhear. An hour passed and I should be next, until the guy who comes in with chest pain. The nurse tells us all waiting that they have no open beds. Finally they decide to triage us waiting and get our blood work started. She took me back where I had to ask for a bucket because I got sick and I think she finally realized there was some validity to my seemingly non-urgent stomach pain. She then let us wait in the family room with a much bigger couch.

After two hours in the waiting room, they finally have a bed for me. My nurse comes to put in an IV because they already suspect appendix and surgery but because the pain was so low and I'm female, wanted to do a female exam as well. In the meantime while she makes small talk, I tell her where I work and as luck would have it, she's a current masters student! That may make for an awkward future meeting in the hallway as she was fully engaged in the process of my female exam!

Next a CT scan which of course was inconclusive and they decide to admit me. This was my first overnight stay in a hospital and possibility of emergency surgery. Josh went home to get my glasses and such and came back to spend the night with me. This was happening at 11:00 at night. I hadn't eaten since noon and was starving but since surgery was a possibility in the morning, they wouldn't let me eat. However, with the help of Phenergen and Morphine I drifted right to sleep. Sleeping in a hospital is next to impossible because someone will wake you up every hour for some reason or another. I got about 6 hours of sleep but it felt like I had been asleep forever.

Finally around 7 the surgeon comes in with his passé of about 4 people. Scared to death by all the people I was pleasantly surprised when he said they weren't going through with the surgery. They made me eat lunch and dinner and get up and walk and finally discharged me around 6 Saturday evening. I was never so happy to leave a hospital.

Overall I'm happy I decided to get things checked out and happy to know its most likely viral however, still another expense to add onto recovering from Christmas, buying a house, and just shelling out $500 on a second appraisal. But doctor bills are interest free so it will be fine! I am thankful for no surgery and hopeful my next overnight stay in a hospital will be more planned and for a happy occasion if you catch my drift! :-)

Moral of the story: always go with better safe than sorry!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Life in the fast lane

I know I have been bad about updating this, however life has been moving way too fast for pit stops! It's been a roller coaster but a fun one! Usually I say I can't believe it's a new year already, but the last couple of months have been such a blur that I can!

So I just had to look back to see the last time I posted. September! Oops! Let me try to remember:

October: This was not a good month for us unfortunately. Josh's grandpa was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer and the prognosis wasn't good. This month was full of lots of tears, evenings in the hospital, and late nights at his grandparents house when we weren't at the hospital. This same month his grandma had a heart attack so there was a good amount of time we were having real discussions with God trying to comprehend. The good news is that since then, his grandma has been doing well and his grandpa has begun chemo and at least has the pain under control for the most part. While we still have ups and downs with that, I feel as though we've all been able to come to the point of acceptance as much as can be expected.

November: This month a coworker accepted a new job and her last day at work was November 4. This will begin the 3 month stretch of AGAIN doing 2 jobs. Thankfully I applied for her job and was offered the position! Truly a blessing. It was a step up from my old job and a lot more money and an extremely easy transition. Also this month we decided to begin exploring possibilities of sometime in the future buying a house. We looked up 3 houses in areas we were interested in just to see if there was anything out there. I didn't expect to like any of them. As luck would have it, we both fell in love with the very first house we looked at. It had been listed for $60k and just recently reduced to $45k so the price was right. The elderly lady who had been living there had to go to a nursing home so they just needed to get what she owed on the house and needed to pay off some medical bills and then the rest would go to the nursing home since she had to get rid of all her assets. They accepted our offer of $35k! The house itself is in good shape but the inside hasn't been updated probably since the 70s and that is not an exaggeration. The bathroom has green tub, toilet, and sink. All the carpet is floral print or red checkered and wall paper on every wall. But with Josh's skills, he can do all the updates for just the expense of buying the materials so we can update it just how we want!

December: This month mainly consisted of keeping my head above the water. After a month of doing 2 jobs things start to pile up. I officially started in my new position this month so at least I was finally getting my new pay! We were supposed to also close on our house this month but instead it consisted with us fighting with US Bank and deciding to switch to a new bank. Oh and then throw Christmas on top of all that. But we did have a wonderful Christmas!

January: We're only 5 days in but things are already happening. We spent the new year at home just the three of us and it was perfect. They finally did the second appraisal on the house that we had to do since US Bank wouldn't release the first appraisal to the new bank even though I was the one to pay the $400 for it. So hopefully now we just wait for the paperwork and close this month! Also they interviewed and offered my old position to someone who starts on the 24th!

I think that sums up the last quarter of a year pretty well. I think overall I have truly learned to be so thankful for all the blessings in my life because I have been blessed with so many. For the first time in a long time, all feels right with the world, like it's finally my time. Last year was full of other peoples weddings and births of other peoples babies and while I was so happy for all my friends, I was beginning to wonder when good things were going to start happening for us, especially during October. But God had a plan and now He is providing for us.

My goal is to keep this updated and catch up on all I've missed in the blogging world. Especially when the new girl comes I am sure I will have much more free time! I'm happy to be back!