Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Five: 1/30

Way too long, no post. I'm trying to come back to you, internet.

1) How would you define beauty?

This is a very vague question that seems to require a detailed, nuanced answer that I just cannot provide right now. I'll just say I know it when I see it. It usually has to do with grace, poise, and low levels of self-awareness.

2) What is the best quality a person can have?

Honesty and two feet planted firmly on the ground. And a good sense of humor.

3) What is the worse quality a person can have?


4) What makes up your perfect match?

Erich and I have always been able to converse easily. He wasn't turned off by my biting sarcasm when we started dating and he gets my sense of humor. If he has trouble understanding my mind, he doesn't give up until he has a clearer picture. He cooks for me, he runs errands, he provides for us, and, most importantly, he has strong faith. I am a better person because he is in my life. He's my as-close-to-perfect-as-possible match. :)

5) Have you met this person yet?


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Thoughts

Erich and I chose to wear black today. This is an historic day, to be sure: as is the inauguration of ANY new president, and as was September 11, 2001. Historic days can be not so good.

Frankly, I don't have much to say. At least, nothing that Cheryl at Round Unvarnish'd Tale or Elephant's Child haven't already said much better.

It's just that the whole HISTORY!!!!!!! part of this day doesn't really affect me. It's very nice and special that this is our first African-American president... but it was never about race for me, and I don't know a single person who supported John McCain because they were racist. I absolutely resent the notion that I should shut up with my criticisms and enjoy the day because it's HISTORY.

I didn't vote for BO because I don't like his ideas. I don't like what he stands for. America doesn't need to be fundamentally changed. I roundly disagree with his grasp of economics--not just the current economy, but economics in general. And I am appalled at his attitude toward the unborn. (And I really, really don't care what Michelle's "First Lady Style" is going to be all about. Why should I?) So pardon me for not feeling celebratory today.

I didn't watch the Inauguration because I was playing organ for a church service. It felt like the right place to be after all, praying for the future of our country.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something Completely Different

Erich does Blue Steel:

(This was at the Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, MI, where we stayed with my parents and my sister and BIL the weekend before Christmas while we visited extended family. See the picturesque view out the window? We had just told them we were expecting a baby. Excitement abounded. And the three men enjoyed a LOT of wine. My sister took a picture with her iPhone and emailed it to me. By the time I had a chance to look at it, we had already found out about the miscarriage. I know that I'm healing though, because I can look at this picture and fondly enjoy the memories. And I think my husband is really cute and funny.)

And the winner is...

Schott's Miscellany 2009 Page-a-Day Calendar.

I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday to get myself a desk calendar. This was the first year in MANY years that I didn't get one for Christmas. As soon as I tore off December 31 from 2008's Office Quotes calendar, I missed being able to glance up and read something kind of useless but entertaining, while also being able to see today's date. It's a very valuable product.

And January 5 is a great time to get a calendar. Duh! It was 50% off! I'm pleased with my purchase, bloggees. Just thought you'd like to know.

Another item I bought, because B&N emailed me a 40% off coupon, was this book by Paul McKenna: I Can Make You Thin.

The title is dumb. The man himself is very self-help-guru-ish. He's good at pumping his fists and getting TV audiences to cheer. I know this because I watched all the episodes of his show by the same name that aired on TLC in the spring of last year. And ordinarily, these things turn me off. I resist the influence of people like Oprah. I get it, but I don't want to be a part of it.

On the other hand, I've tried many ways to lose weight over the years, mainly by scolding myself. I did Weight Watchers a few years ago and promptly lost 19 pounds over a few months, but then I gained back about five pounds, which I maintained until my wedding almost a year later. My weight has gone up ever since, certainly helped along by marital bliss and the depression of two miscarriages. Since my first success on WW, I tried it again twice and failed miserably both times. WW claims not to be a diet, but it is. It works for a lot of people, but like all diets, if you don't stay on it forever, you will regain the weight you lost.

WW also never really helped my relationship with food. I love it and I hate it. I eat because I'm happy, I eat because I'm sad, and very often, I eat because I'm bored. My main goal now is to eat because I'm hungry--and ONLY when I'm hungry. It's not an issue of willpower, it's behavior modification. WW=willpower and work; Paul McKenna=behavior modification. It's understanding some basic truths about how the brain works, reinforcing it with a little hypnosis, and improving your lifelong relationship with food. I need to do that and I'm ready now.

I hid my scale last night. I weigh myself far too often. I resolve to stop watching the numbers fluctuate day to day and pay more attention to everything in my life. Food is only a small part of that. I want to feel better, look better, and have more energy. Diets only make me obsess about food, and I'm ready to stop.

I'll let you know how I'm doing in a few weeks. I'm fairly confident I'll have good news to report. It feels weird to put this on my blog--it's making me accountable! But I didn't tell the internet about the last time I went on WW. I probably knew I would fail. I hope I succeed this time. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Advice Needed

I learned a few things today. One, my blog is "pretty heavily trafficked." Two, the internet is a crazy, crazy place.

If you want to know what I'm talking about, read the comments on my last post, then come back here and tell me what you think I should do.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Survey

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Got pregnant...twice and miscarried...twice.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I ever really made any. Not any that I remember, anyway. And I resolve to lose weight, but the timing of that resolution has more to do with my second miscarriage than with the new year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no (other than my two babies). My great aunt died, but I hadn't seen her in quite a few years.

5. What countries did you visit?
I went to Spain in the spring.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Hmmm... well, a baby would be nice! Not sure how likely it is that I will actually have a baby in 2009. I'd also like a house of my own.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
February 13, miscarriage #1. June 27, septum resection surgery. December 22, miscarriage #2.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I really don't feel like I achieved much that was noteworthy. My forced answer would be that I helped direct my church's school's junior high musical, Godspell Jr., and it was a pretty awesome production. I also pulled off a pretty fun Halloween recital for my piano students.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failing to carry my children to term.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Besides infertility, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets to Spain. I can't think of anything else because I'm kind of stoked about this moss agate ring I bought at an antique store today.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Erich's for always being by my side and supporting me above and beyond through every challenge. My mom's for always being available to me. My entire family, for that matter. I'm proud of how my brother has started to live up to his potential.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The mainstream media's. They suck.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Thanks to insurance, not too much toward my three surgeries. So, savings, I guess.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A remodeled uterus! Getting pregnant for the second time!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Viva la Vida by Coldplay:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? SADDER
ii. thinner or fatter? FATTER
iii. richer or poorer? Richer based on savings and salary only.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Taking care of myself and my health (i.e. not getting fatter).

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Pondering the day-to-day activities of my ovaries.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve consisted of wallowing, then a little shopping, then church, which was fantastic. Christmas day Erich and I were alone for the bulk of the day, mainly wallowing. We had dinner with my parents and brother and his girlfriend. Day after Christmas we celebrated with my entire family and family friends. Sunday after Christmas we celebrated in Evansville with Erich's family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Again and again with my husband. (Aaaawwwwww....)

23. How many one-night stands?
SNORT. This question implies that there must have been at least one! Haha, none, you silly survey.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Office, 30 Rock, and Lost. Oh, and HGTV programs like House Hunters and My House is Worth What?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nah. In fact, hate levels have probably gone down on all fronts, though I should note I can't really think of anyone I hate.

26. What was the best book you read?
Impossible to choose. I finally read all of the Chronicles of Narnia, which is a wonderful series. I liked The Other Boleyn Girl and hope to read Phillipa Gregory's other books. I'm enjoying the pop candy that is the Twilight series. I can't really remember what I read before I started cataloging my read books at

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Piano Adventures is pretty much the best piano method out there.

28. What did you want and get?
A normal uterus. Some knitting skillz. Affirmation.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I could probably count on one hand the number of new movies I saw this year. I like Mamma Mia. That's seriously the only one I can remember seeing this year. House savings and our large and mainly unwatched home DVD collection generally trump seeing movies in a theater for $9.50 per ticket.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I think I did nothing on my birthday, though I'm sure Erich and I went out to dinner or something at some point. I turned 25. I feel much older than that, to be honest.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Oh man, I'm going to have to keep bringing up my babies. I sure would have like to have had a baby in August like I was supposed to!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
"hide the fat"

34. What kept you sane?
Coloring books and blogging, and of course, my fabulous husband

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Barack Obama. He makes my dreams come true... NOT. I'm past the stage in my life where I form personal attachments to people I don't know.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Abortion. Given my history with [NOT elective] abortion and having my attitudes and opinions sharpened by Issues, Etc., this issue became very important to me this year.

37. Who did you miss?
My first baby. (Again with the dead babies. Sorry if this is getting monotonous/depressing.)

38. Who was the best new person you met?
My six-month-old niece, Emily. She's the only new person I can think of, and she's cool.

ETA: And my brother's new girlfriend, Sam! I hope someday she'll be more than that. I don't want to jinx it, so I'll just say that it rhymes with "blister-bin-blaw."

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Being pregnant and having a baby are two COMPLETELY different things. At least for some people.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your whole year:

I never in a million years would have expected to become a Jordin Sparks fan, but I found myself listening to the words of this song on the radio and found that it really applied to me and my whole situation this year. Here's the YouTube link (embedding disabled, boo) and the lyrics:

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you've always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste, but you just can't touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face and door keeps slamming

Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient, waiting
We live and we learn

To take one step at a time; there's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's supposed to happen
That we find the reasons why, one step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You're confused and got it all figured out
Everything that you always wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours if they only knew


When you can't wait any longer,
But there's no end in sight
It's your faith that makes you stronger
The only way we get there is one step at a time

Take one step at a time, there's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly or falling in love
It's gonna happen and it's supposed to happen
That we find the reasons why, one step at a time