Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cancer Sucks

Yesterday I found out that a second member of my family is now battling cancer. For her, it's round two after ten years of being in remission, and it's looking like mastectomy is a pretty serious possibility. So you know what? Cancer sucks.

So far I have had one loved one taken from me due to cancer. Let me tell you, it's not the best. Many, many, many of us know someone who has been affected by this horrible disease. I would even venture so far as to say EVERYONE knows someone who has battled with cancer. Cancer sucks.

My husband is under a lot of stress right now due to his family member battling cancer. We don't know when he'll be needing a plane ticket to go see her since the situation isn't looking too promising there. Cancer sucks.

I know that through most of my posts so far I have tried to have some kind of message, moral, or meaning, but this is not one of those. I'm struggling to make sense of this cruel twist of fate. This is a post when I need you all. Prayers, good vibes, postive energy, whatever you've got, send it our way. My family is in need, and I'm at a loss as to what exactly I can do for my husband and my family member. Can you guess what I'm going to say next? That's right, cancer sucks.

This one is pretty short and sweet because I'm, simply put, at a loss for words. So for those of you (I assume nearly all of you) who have found yourself in the situation of having a loved one who is fighting cancer, how did you send encouragement? For those of you who have had a loved one have a person fighting/losing his/her battle, how did you handle it? What did you do to help your person cope with this life altering scenario? Specifically for the military affiliated, how difficult was it to get leave to go see the family member so short notice? 

This isn't the post I intended for today, but it is what I felt compelled to share with you. I hope that by sharing my truth with you, peace can be found for my family. And maybe some of you can find peace through helping me and mine.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Being Sick is The Worst

I am usually one of those people that never gets sick. If it's a little cough or a headache, I don't even acknowledge it. So when I do get sick, I get SICK. Like don't touch me, my breath is poisonous sick. To top it off I have a really high pain tolerance which isn't always a blessing. It takes me altoghether too long to realize I'm hurting or that what's going on with my body is serious and needs medical attention.

That being said, I've been minorly sick on and off for a couple weeks and majorly sick for about a week now. I have been staying inside, mostly in bed, doing a whole lot of nothing and pretending to sleep. However, one day I decided to be brave and cook dinner. Before I could do that, I had to go to the store to pick up a few things: orange juice, jalapeƱo peppers, dog treats, a new power strip. I started preparing the dried beans so I could use them in my burritos, and then I'm off to the store.

I get everything on my list and get completely checked out before realizing I locked my keys in the car, and Roger's at work so he can't bail me out. After getting off the phone with our roommate to come help me I remember I left the beans cooking on the stove. He gets to the store in a timely fashion, we get a wire hanger to try to unlock my car, and I forgot to turn off the stove. AGAIN. The wire hanger is a complete bust so I call a locksmith who got stuck in traffic trying to get to my car.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have never locked your keys in your car, most locksmiths take cash only. I don't carry cash. He had to call his boss to see if they could run my card over the phone. Thankfully that all works out. So we're finally home with both cars. We get all the groceries upstairs, and I see the oven still on. Nothing's boiling over so small victory there.

Now since I got the dogs some treats, I decide to give the kitten a treat. Alma has terrible mouth-eye coordination. Instead of eating the treat, she punctures two holes into my thumb that bled more than they should have. The dogs think the bandaid is a weird treat and won't stop trying to chew my thumb off to get it.

Moral of the story, know your limits. I hadn't been doing anything for a week because I knew I was too sick and tired to concentrate. Friends and family exist for a reason (unless someone has a tiny baby at home, then don't you dare risk getting the little person sick).

And now that we have all read the word "sick" more times than is necessary, how has everyone been handling this winter? Anyone have any home remedies to recommend? Please tell me I'm not the only one with embarrasing stories XD

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Day I Got Pantsed in The Middle of The Street

I know the title of this one is pretty intriguing, but before I dive in to the story of how this awful thing happened, I'm going to take some time to introduce you to my animals. We have two dogs and a cat. The first dog is a hot mess. Her name is Aura. She's a red nose pit bull I found outside our high school almost five years ago. After some swapping she ended up with Roger instead of me, but now we're married so I got her back. Achilles is our seven-month-old husky puppy. We say he was my engagement ring, but we were already married, and I paid for him so...meh, Roger can win this one ;). Our newest addition is a two-month-old kitten named Alma (we've got an "A" theme going). She was a shelter save so we don't really know much about her other than she's female and healthy now.

But on to the story. Last week I was having a pretty rough go of it. I was stressed out about everything: money, marriage, roommate, apartment, pets, baby Avery, finding down time. You name it, I was working myself into a tizzy because of it. And so, as this was all culminating into an implosion of incredible proportions, I was rushing to get the dogs bedded down so I could make my park date in twenty minutes. I had spent the morning cleaning. The last thing I had to do was take them outside and then lock them in their crate.

Achilles had already peed on my clean floors so I knew he didn't have to pee, but I wanted to give him a chance to take care of any other business he may have had. He accomplished nothing outside, of course. Then came Aura's turn. I got her harness and leash on her so she was ready to go. I open the door and walk out, and who follows  me? Achilles. ACHILLES!! The perpetual wanderer.

I shove Aura back into the apartment and tear off down the stairs. At that exact moment Achilles was running back to me. But now we're playing chase since Mommy's coming after him. Obviously. So he sprints down the road to the clubhouse. A car is coming our way who luckily saw my flailing arms and angled his car so Achilles wouldn't be able to run onto the main street as easily. After he gets to the clubhouse, he turns around to run at me. I squat down. I'm ready to stop this dog no matter what. He's running. He's running. He's running. Then he jukes to the left. I lunge for him and manage to grab a leg. He flips and skids a little (thank God for that thick, double coat), and I tackle him! Victory is mine!

Or so I thought. Now, I may go to the gym three times a week, but I was out of breath. Trying not to lose my flip flops while running as fast as I could and figuring out how to tell Roger our dog got hit by a car wore me out. And let me tell you, a seven-month-old husky is not the lightest of creatures. So I change which side I'm holding him. Left hip. Right hip. Left hip. Right hip. And that's when it happens. He caught his foot in my right pocket and kicked. My sweat pants hit my ankles faster than I could blink at the car that drove by.

Was I embarrassed? Nah. I skipped straight to hysterical. I was laughing like a crazy person all the way up the stairs. But that dog is my baby. And more than that, he's the light in my dark days. Even the days he made dark himself. He helped me to be able to truly breathe and laugh at myself instead of being so serious all the time. My back actually released all the built up tenstion, and the stress left me. Animals really are God's gifts.

Who else has fur babies? Any ridiculous stories of when they saved you from yourselves? As much as we joke about trading them all for cats, I know dogs will always be a part of our lives. After days like that, I couldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day (yuck, I know)

As we all know, Valentine's Day was yesterday. Many of us exchanged the usual gifts: flowers, chocolates, teddy bears. Some fancy dinners were planned and attended. Maybe some movies were watched. But then I know several several ladies who spent this holiday alone. I don't want you all to feel left out or that this post isn't also for you because let me tell you about how my Valentine's Day went.

The night before, Roger and I got into some silly disagreement (a pretty regular occurence as of late, stupid hormones). And because of that, I threw his present at him early which is a no no in his book. Holidays have to be on their respective days whereas I think the whole thing is a money-making scheme. He refused to open his letters until the appropriate days, but the teddy bear was pretty obvious. I didn't sleep much at all that night thanks to my lungs deciding they'd rather misbehave every time I tried to lie down.

Now, it's the big day. VALENTINE'S DAY. Ya, ya, ya. But you know what? I got to sleep in. Roger took the dogs for me so I could nap all day to catch up on my zzz's. He woke me up with a kiss because he read his first letter, the one that said he had to come kiss me (wish I would've known I'd have been sleeping when I wrote it). He asked me if I liked my presents. Sleepy me was very confused. Apparently he snuck in earlier and left them at the foot of the bed. By them, I mean the biggest teddy bear I've ever gotten and the largest heart-shaped box of chocolates he could find. How I was completely oblivious, I have no idea.

Our original plans were fancy dinner and a movie, but thanks to the silly fight, I called that off the day before. My sickness made me grateful for my rash decision. We did get takeout and rewatch a movie on the comfort of our own couch with my favorite puppy cuddles, though. But you know what? That was the best Valentine's Day I've had so far. It may not have been spectacularly expensive or well thought out, but after spending the first two apart, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Third time really was the charm after all.

So now I want to know how you all spent your Valentine's Days. Did you spend yours on the phone with your loved ones or at an extravagant dinner? Did you do something unique? And is anyone with me about holidays being too focused on the gifts, or is everyone on my husband's side?

P.S. For anyone wondering when I'll start posting about my dogs' antics, the next post is exactly what you want to read. And if you need a good laugh, it's worth your time. I promise.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Sisterhood

Today I watched the season 4 finale of Army Wives (no spoilers, I promise), and it got me thinking about how grateful I am for my little tribe of ladies here. For those of you who don't know, my husband serves in the United States Marine Corps. I like to think that I'm not completely sucked into the military lifestyle, but when it comes to the way friendships have to be, I took the bait hook, line and sinker.

When your service member is assigned a new duty station every few years, the friendship process is condensed. You know you only have a short time to be where you are, but without a strong support group nearby, it can be a difficult chapter of life. More often than not you turn to the Internet and form a stronger bond with the text appearing next to an unknown profile picture than with your people from back home because the person behind the words knows what you're going through.

Believe it or not, I met my closest friends through Facebook. Ashley offered me her couch even though we were total strangers. Kristin just needed help curling her hair while keeping her infant occupied. Savannah and I bonded over our fur babies. Kelsey messaged me when I was sick. And that was the start of what I can honestly say are the best friendships I've ever had so far. There's always someone to lend a hand or a shoulder or to tag along to life changing dinners or even menial shopping trips.

But that's just that. There are two sides to every coin. With the blessing of brevity also comes its curse. In the few months I've had with my soul sisters, we have been through so much. Pets coming, going, and getting left behind. Growth of children. Husbands leaving for deployment. I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I know the time for goodbye isn't that far away. In the year and a half we have left with each other, we'll face a birth, husbands returning, more fur babies, new houses, and plenty of challenges to force us each to grow as individuals and as a sisterhood.

I'm tearing up as I type this because there aren't enough words to express how blessed I am to have stumbled into the right Facebook groups, and it hurts knowing I'll have to start over again at our next stop. However, the intensity of the trials we have been through together have cemented us together for life. Not everyone is as lucky, but I will never be able to thank the Marine Corps enough, not only for the man it has made my husband to be, but also for the best group of ladies I have had the pleasure to call friends.

Now I want to know. What's your guilty pleasure(s)? What's your favorite activities to do with your friends? If you or your spouse is in the military, did you maintain your friendships from past duty stations? Until next time!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Welcome to Life

I'm one of those people that has a schedule. I'm a planner. What more can I say? Keeping my life organized is part of my sanity. So what's on tap for Sundays? Skype calls with my parents, of course. 

My parents moved to Colorado two years ago so our Sunday chats are a necessary part of life to catch up on the goings-on in the rest of the tribe, but today was extra special. My sister got to Skype with us, too!! She goes to college in Denver, and my parents live a few hours away from her so it's pretty hard to catch us all at the same time, especially with a two hour time difference between them and me complicating things. 

But back to the story, the main discussion for today was, no surprise, scheduling. Trying to figure out life and box it all into little color coded time slots: blue for family time, green for friends, pink for work events, and purple for errands. Spring Break is coming up next month so I have a whole week swimming in blue in honor of my sister's mini visit. However, this is Life we're talking about. Let's be real, how often does it decide to throw us a curve ball to test our strengths, punish our weaknesses, and build our character?

The curve ball in this episode of Life just so happens to be a little baby (I'll call this child Averie for simplicity's sake). Averie should be making an appearance sometime around early October, and if that's not a curve ball, I don't know what is. But that's just it, right? That's the challenge for us who cling to our calendars and notebooks like the last piece of cookie cake from yesterday's birthday party. Life isn't something you can have all planned out. Sure, we all know the template by heart. Graduate high school, go to college, start your career, get married, have babies. But it isn't always in that order, and I would go so far as to say it shouldn't be. We aren't all cookie cutter people who can survive in a cookie cutter life. And for the planners out there like me, that's what makes it all worthwhile. We get to reimagine our lives every time the big changes come and watch as the future grows into something bigger and brighter than we could have decided for ourselves.

So now I want to know. What are some big challenges or decisions you have coming up in your future? Are any of you planners like me? How do you cope when life doesn't go your way? Until next time :) And just in case no one has told you yet, welcome to life.