Ask Away Friday Vol. 10

Today is my favorite uncle’s birthday. And yes, now that you mention it, we have a ton of birthdays in August. And no, I’m not sure how all of us Leos get along. Sometimes we really don’t get along at all.

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Today is also another Friday, and another dose of #AskAwayFriday. This week I got to swap with the lovely lady behind Tamara Like Camera. I met Tamara through the AAF group and immediately fell in love with her beautiful photos. Her blog is a combination of her lovely photography and her ability to tell a story so captivating, you’re left breathless. Please be sure to swing by her spot and see how she answered my questions this week, you won’t be disappointed!

Tamara had some great questions for me, so without further ado…

1. I was so sorry to hear about the autoimmune diseases in your life, as well as depression and anxiety. Focusing on the anxiety, since that is something I have on occasion, what are some things that really help you to ease it, if you don’t mind answering?

Thank you, and I don’t mind at all! Anxiety is harder for me, there never seems to be a clear cut answer on how to ease it. Music often helps, usually something I can just scream along to at the top of my lungs. Cleaning is also good, it eases the OCD tendencies that creep in when my anxiety goes unchecked. I’ve also noticed any activity that lets me have a bit of control is helpful. It’s like I’m latching onto anything that feels like I’m regaining the control I feel anxiety saps from me.

2. Doctor Who question! Who is your favorite Doctor of all? Who is your favorite Doctor in that “hubba hubba” kind of way? And who is your favorite companion? (K-9 counts)

Well since I’m a new viewer, I don’t really have any favorites. My son swears Matt Smith is the best, and has me started with those episodes, so I’ve only met Amelia Pond, and Rory. I’ll check back in soon and let you know what I think when I go back to the beginning. Or as far back as Netflix will let me go.

3. What’s your favorite thing to write about? Or what has been your favorite blog post?

This is so hard! Each post means something to me when I write it, that’s really how I write. (Which is also why there can be gaps between posts. If I’m not feeling it, I try not to force it.) I love writing about the people I love, and sharing my loved ones with my readers. It’s nice to be able to tell everyone how awesome they are without them interrupting me and brushing it off lol! As for a favorite post, I really like my Grateful Mondays posts. It’s nice to start the week off on a high note and put a bit of gratitude out into the world.

4. Got this from Kristen at Mommy In Sports – What blog post were you most afraid to publish? The most vulnerable thing you wrote where your hand hovered over the ‘publish’ button…but you did it anyways?

There are a few posts I’ve hesitated on. I Loved You was written about friends who hurt me after my diagnosis with RA and the resulting fall out. It’s raw pain, and was hard for me to publish knowing they might one day see it. The posts that share my story of being a survivor are also pretty vulnerable. While it is laying myself bare, it’s important to me to share that story. There is a lot of stigma attached to being a survivor, and by sharing my story, I might help someone to know they they aren’t alone and it isn’t their fault. Ultimately, this is my spot to share my truth, all of it, and so I eventually bite the bullet and hit publish.

5. What’s something you have always wanted to do that you have yet to accomplish?

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve had many ideas over the years, but it involves REALLY taking a risk, and so I’ve let the ideas slither away. Like most people, I have a deep fear of rejection. I’m trying to be more brave, but I’ve yet to take that crucial step.

6. What’s a dream vacation you can’t wait to take with your family?

I would love to take any vacation with my family! Travelling has become a bit harder since I got sick, and finances always seem to be tight. We’ve actually never had more than just a day trip with my fiance and son and I together. I’d really love to take us all up to Canada to visit our favorite couple, that would be lovely.

7. What’s been your proudest moment as a mother?

I’ve been blessed, my son is pretty wonderful and has given me lots of proud moments. It could be his first report card with straight A’s or when he flew in one summer and the stewardess told us how well behaved and polite he was…and he was only seven. In fact, it was last school year when he devoted his Wednesday afternoons to tutor younger students in his youth group. There was nothing in it for him, he did it just because he wanted to help. And my heart melted and grew three times just like The Grinch.

8. Do you have any plans to travel this fall or winter?

At this moment, no. I’ll be starting a new treatment this fall, and we’re waiting to see how that will affect me. We’d like to have my sisters come here for the holidays, and limit my travelling while still getting to see them. If not, we might go to see my sister in Bend, Oregon, which is just a few hours away.

9. What’s the wackiest belief you had as a child?

I honestly can’t remember any! My parents weren’t big on feeding the imagination, and I knew there was no Santa by age six. So I really don’t know that I had any wacky beliefs.

10. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten this week?

I made this creamy chicken in my crockpot and served it over rice, with some veggies. It’s a Pinterest recipe revised and I’m in love with it. Three ingredients, six hours on low, viola! Also, the double chocolate cuppity cakes I made yesterday were pretty awesome. Just sayin’.

 

Tamara really had some deep questions, and made me THINK! Don’t forget to stop by her place and say hi, tell her I sent you! If you’d like to join in the Ask Away Friday fun, check out their Facebook group. They’re a bunch of awesome bloggers, you won’t regret it.

I’m off to enjoy a (hopefully) calm weekend with my fiance and get ready for my son to come back on Sunday. If anyone has some extra energy to send my way, I’d love it!

Truthful Tuesday Ten

I’ve been wanting to hop on Rabia’s Tuesday Ten link up for awhile but I always forget until it’s too late or I don’t have anything that fits the topic. Until now.

In anticipation of my Ask Away Friday swap with a photographer this week (check back Friday!), I was inspired to join in and share ten photos with you today. And because I love Dawnie‘s Truthful Tuesdays, I’m combining the two.

So here are ten photos from my phone and the truths behind them.

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1. This is my family. This is me, my son, and my future husband. These two people mean the absolute most to me in this world. And yes, the boy is just a smidge taller than my fiance. Don’t mention it though, it’s a sensitive topic :p

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2. This is the other member of our little family. This guy has melted my heart and filled a giant void I didn’t know was there. This photo was taken weekend before last while the boy and my fiance were playing wiffle ball in the park. Todd wanted to play, too!

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3. These people are extended family and we miss them dearly. Kristen and Seth, Christmas before last. They came to celebrate with us and when they heard that we had lost Misty just the night before, they poured mimosas and helped me to toast my sweet friend.

photo (9)4. I love each of the ladies in this photo. And yes, that IS The Bloggess. She was in Portland two years ago for a book signing and Joules and Shevaun were adamant that I meet up with them to go see her. Until this day I had only read a few of Jenny’s blogs, and had never met Joules and Shevaun in person. Despite being in the midst of a flare, it was one of my best days ever. We had dinner and laughed and we got to meet who is now one of my personal heroes.

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5. My other lame claim to fame, I’m the second from the left and the guys? They would be Duran Duran. The only time I’ve ever won anything, I won a call-in contest to a local radio station and got tickets to a meet and greet Duran Duran was doing before a concert in Portland. I actually got to ask the guys a question and have it answered, which was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

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6. My guys again. This was weekend before last, at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. They’re standing in front of the Mercury capsule, which Scotty was very excited about seeing. If you’re ever in Oregon, you’ve got to check this place out, it’s full of awesome.

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7. Wiffle ball in the park. In what was probably the sweetest gesture ever, my son asked his future step-dad if he’d like to play ball with him. So we trekked to three different stores to find a wiffle ball set (because that’s what the kiddo wanted) and then we spent the afternoon in the park. The boys played and I walked Todd around while I tried to get as many pictures of this moment as possible. My heart, it melted that day.

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8. Last week we went to dinner with my sister before she took my kiddo to her house for a few days. On the way to dinner, we got stuck behind what is probably the oddest car I’ve ever seen. Yes, that is WOOD. And it’s probably held together by all the bumper stickers, which is why it couldn’t go over 20 mph.

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9. Though the sign calls it “The German Wall,” this is, and always will be, a part of The Berlin Wall. This was actually at the above mentioned space museum. While many people my age may or may not remember the wall coming down, my family was actually stationed in Germany when the wall fell. I was just seven years old and watched it live on local television. I never thought I would see the wall again, and then…I turned the corner and there it was. Honestly, I’m still a bit shaken.

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10. I’ll leave you with one more photo of my adorable doggy. This was just after his last grooming. He has so much character and attitude, it’s hard to capture it in pictures, but I think this one gets a little of it :)

Don’t forget to pop on over to The Leiber’s to check out the other posts in this awesome link up. Or better yet, dig through your phone and link up yourself!

Ask Away Friday Vol. 9

Oh August, how are you slipping away from us so quickly?

Soon it will be cooler temperatures (YAY!), crisp leaves decorating the world, back to school and back to routines. For today, it is my future father-in-law’s birthday. And it is Friday, which means it’s time for another round of Ask Away Friday!

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This week I swapped with Kelly Michelle from The Beauty of Resilience. Kelly Michelle is a substitute teacher who shares wonderfully inspiring posts about life, teaching, and her art. Be sure to hop on over to her site and read her answers to my questions so you can get to know this blogger better!

And now, on to the show!

1. I read on your blog that you just had a birthday. First, Happy Belated Birthday! Second, where is your favorite restaurant to go to celebrate a birthday?

Thank you so much! It’s funny you ask this because my parents are coming to visit at the end of the month and they want me to pick a restaurant for my birthday dinner…and I just can’t decide! I love pasta so my mom is pushing for Olive Garden, but part of me really wants a good steak, so The Roadhouse is looking pretty good. Then another part of me really wants to try somewhere we’ve never been. I guess in answer to your question, my favorite place is wherever I can get whatever food I’m currently craving haha!

2. What is a good birthday memory from the past you remember most?

For my 30th birthday two years ago, my fiance secretly sought out my favorite book series and bought the entire series for me. It was seven LARGE books that aren’t especially cheap. But more than the money he spent, it was that he found something that he knew would speak to my heart of hearts. It is my most treasured birthday gift ever.

3. Other than Doctor Who, which you mentioned in one of your posts, what are some others TV shows you are a fan of?

I’m a new fan to Doctor Who, though my friends have been after me for ages to take the plunge. I also really love true crime shows and Criminal Minds, even if they give me nightmares occasionally. I’m a believer in fairy tales and religiously follow Once Upon A Time, Tracie and I watch together across the miles. My fiance and I are also devout Mythbusters fans, and I’m currently drooling over the new Outlander show, which is based on the above mentioned books.

4. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I love seeing the little human he is becoming. I love seeing which parts he gets from me, and from other family members. I love watching his mind grow and that little light bulb that goes on when he grasps a new concept. I love how he is everything I could have hoped for, but not exactly what I dreamed, because he’s his own person. And he’s so very much better than I could have imagined.

5. You mentioned you love the rain. What is your favorite rainy day activity?

I love the smell of rain the most, I think. And that’s unique to Oregon, I can promise. Or maybe the Pacific Northwest. I do know that the rain here doesn’t smell like it does in California or the Midwest. My favorite activity has got to be curling up with a cup of hot tea, a fuzzy blanket, and a great book. Nothing beats escaping into fantasy while rain drizzles around you.

6. What is one of your favorite inspirational quotes?

Oh goodness! Most of you know I share inspirational messages over at Spoons 4 Spoonies often, so there are certainly a lot of good ones to choose from. I think this is probably one of my top ones.

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7. What is your favorite activity to do as a family?

Movie nights are a big favorite, for all of us. We’ll pick out something yummy for dinner, usually something fun like fondue, and curl up to watch a movie together. Last week we had nachos and watched The Lego Movie, which was better than I had imagined it would be.

8. What is a hobby you like to do the most?

I love my writing, which is still a hobby, even if it’s getting more recognition lately. I also equally love to read. If I could figure out how to do them at the same time, I probably would!

9. What is one of your favorite movies, currently?

Hmm. That’s a hard one, since I haven’t seen a lot of current movies. I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies and just recently re-watched Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2. I also love fairy tales, so Ever After and The Princess Bride are favorites, too.

10. Other than bowling, what other indoor sports do you like?

I’m not sure! I’m not the most athletic person, even before I got sick. I’ve always been extremely klutzy, so I’ve steered away from anything where I could hurt myself or others haha. I do love yoga and some pilates, the stretches can be very helpful for my joints and there’s something very relaxing there. Does that count?

 

Many thanks to Kelly Michelle for a great swap this week! Don’t forget to head over to her site to see what I asked her and how she answered. If you’d like to join Ask Away Friday, check out their Facebook group to get started! And if there’s a question I haven’t answered yet, but you’d like to ask, please leave it in the comments and I’ll add it as a bonus to the next swap!

Now go out and have a great weekend! I’ll be watching my fiance play at a lovely winery while celebrating the end of the summer semester with a good friend of mine :)

Who I Am

There’s a country song called “Who I Am” by Jessica Andrews that has always made me smile. I love how she lists all the attributes that make up all the different parts of her. No matter my love-hate relationship with country music, this song is always one I will sing at the top of my lungs.

Recently my friend Megan shared a post she’d written some time ago. While the words were her own, it held all that I love about that song. It told of where she’s from and who she is, all the parts that make her unique. I got goosebumps as I read along and was inspired to write my own. So here, with Megan’s blessing, is who I am…

I am military dress blues and loving my country. I am air shows and gazing in awe at the powerful jets. I am the daughter of a military spouse, fighting the good fight on the home front. I am D.o.D. school in a strange country and learning to speak German so I can order from the local deli for my mother.

I am Mary’s granddaughter, twice over. I am quiet Saturday afternoons in the little rock house on the hill spent with jigsaw puzzles and Merle Haggard on the ancient stereo. I am strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting, blueberry muffins, REAL vanilla cokes, and hot turkey hoagies from Yummies shop. I am nights spent rooting for the Portland Trailblazers and watching In The Heat Of The Night.

I am afternoons spent watching Fraggle Rock with Nancy, my Cabbage Patch doll- named after Mrs. Reagan. I am Rubik’s cubes and classic rock. I am the favorite niece, though we don’t tell anyone.

I am from split homes and blended families. I am without a constant home to say “I grew up here.” I am turmoil and rebellious teen years. I am conflict and tension.

I am red hair, black hair, and every shade in between. I am tall and skinny, awkward and unsure. I am desperate for someone to notice me and terrified they will see too much of me. I am young love with all the wrong boys.

I am the teen mother scared to death of doing something wrong. I am late night rockings and early morning snuggles. I am baby’s first steps at his first birthday party. I am Bob the Builder, Dora the Explorer, Finding Nemo, and Spongebob Squarepants.

I am from “we don’t talk about that” and “suck it up.” I am part of a long line of mental illness. I am anxiety, OCD, and depression.

I am from a line of women who “run to fat after they have babies.” I am a 14 year battle with my body. I am hips that are a little too full for my taste, I am a tummy I wish would just shrink away. I am diets tried and failed.

I am the path to the future.

I am chronic illness and living life despite it. I am advocate, fighter, friend. I am spouse, lover, partner. I am sister, adopted family. I am finding where I belong and carving out my place in the world. I am leaving my mark and finding my passions. I am songs sung behind closed doors and secrets spilled onto a computer screen.

I am love, compassion, understanding. I am change. I am hope.

Questions, Awards, And Hunger Games

It’s Friday! I know you’re probably expecting a dose of #AskAwayFriday, but I was a slacker this week and didn’t get a partner. I would berate myself, but since that time slacking was spent watching The Hunger Games and Total Drama Island with my kiddo, I’m calling it a win.

The lovely Tracie, Echo, Stacey, and Christy did jump in and ask me a few last minute questions, and the sweet Sonya nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. So I figured I’d combine the two themes for a happy, sparkly lead into the weekend :)

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Rules for the Award

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Share seven facts about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award and include a link to their blog.

4. Notify the 15 bloggers you nominated to let them know they have received an award.

7 Random Facts/Answers to Questions

1. If I were to get a book quote tattoo, I’d love to get “da mi basia mille” inked somewhere kinda intimate, like my hip. It’s from the Outlander series, and represents the very sweetest love to me. (Tracie’s question)

2. I would love to have Melissa McCarthy play me in a movie of my life. I love her comedic style, and I think she’d be able to accurately portray my quirkiness. (Echo’s question)

3. You can judge me if you want, but Bruno Mars’ Locked Outta Heaven always makes me sing along and shake it. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get enough of that song. (Stacey’s question)

4. If we won an all expenses paid wedding, I think we’d like a destination wedding, assuming those paid expenses included traveling accommodations for our loved ones. In a perfect dream, I’d love to get married in some pretty far away place like Scotland or Italy. (Christy’s question)

5. Our wedding colors are orange/copper and teal/turquoise. It’s a combination of mine and my fiance’s favorite colors and is quirky just like us. We’re also doing a lot of DIY to make our wedding as personable (and affordable!) as possible :) (Christy’s question)

6. I’ve recently been asked to contribute to RheumatoidArthritis.com as a guest expert. Woot!

7. My son has me completely drawn into the world that is Total Drama Island. We’ve just started season 2 and for some reason, I’m hooked. I’m sure this will lead to the further decline of my intelligence…

Many thanks to Sonya for nominating me, it was a big bright spot to wake up to this morning. I’d like to pass the award along to the following:

Tracie from From Tracie

Christy from Uplifting Families

Andrea from Good Girl Gone Redneck

Jamee from A New Kind Of Normal

Echo from Domain Of The Mad Mommy

Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings

Lanaya from Raising Reagan

Rabia from The Liebers

April from 100lb Countdown

Beth from Structure In An Unstructured Life

Sarah from Living With POTS UK

Suzanne from It Goes On

Lisa from ExpandNg

Janessa from Mothering {In Real Life}

Shelly from DIY Mama

 

I had a lot of fun this week! Again, many thanks to Sonya for thinking of me, y’all be sure to check out her site for some awesome shopping deals- tell her I sent you! And check back here next week for another round of Ask Away Friday. If you’d like to join in the fun, their Facebook page is the place to get started. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave it in the comments for next time!

Something To Fight For

Once, when I was in a pretty rough patch, my gal Kristen had some powerful words for me. We were debating the wisdom of my going out when I was already in the middle of a flare. I had a bad case of cabin fever, but doctor’s orders were to rest.

Kristen listened to me hem and hah for a while and then just looked at me, and said:

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I opened my mouth to argue with her, then sat there with my mouth gaping like an idiot.

She was right. (As usual.)

We spoonies fight so hard to live life. Doctors appointments, scary medications, supplements, alternative medication, dietary changes. We do whatever we can to fight against the odds and live as long as we can. We stare those morbidity rates in the face and do our best to defy them.

But why go through all that only to live in a bubble and watch life, real living, pass us by?

Yes, we must be careful. But we should still remember to smile often, and to find the good in each day. We should still LIVE a little.

So go out today and do something you’ve been putting off for a “better” day. Have that ice cream, even if it might upset your tummy. Take a walk in the sunshine, go window shopping, go for a little drive. Live a little today, so that tomorrow, when the pain is bad, you’ll remember what you’re fighting for.

Another Year Older, More Grateful

Yesterday I turned another year on the axis of life. A whopping 32, I am. In honor of all the wonderful birthday wishes I received, here’s a bit of Monday Gratitude for you.

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I’m grateful for:

*Sharing Doctor Who and s’mores popcorn with my son.

*Choosing to live life, despite pain.

*Birthday parties that include bowling and pizza and cupcakes.

*Leftover pizza for lunches.

*A son who willingly helps with chores, making it easier for me to save spoons to do fun things with him.

*Friends who take time out of busy lives to celebrate with you.

*Loved ones who celebrate with you from far away via texts, Facebook, and phone calls.

*Businesses who offer special discounts for birthday parties.

*A fiance who goes out of his way to make it the very best day, including taking my son shopping to pick me up a card.

*A son who gives his blessing to our engagement, and agrees to give me away next summer at our wedding.

 

Ask Away Friday Vol. 8

Holy Moly it’s August already!

Today my awesome kiddo arrives, so while I’m out having lunch with him and my mom, here’s another round of Ask Away Friday for you!

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This week I swapped with one of our awesome Ask Away Friday hosts, the lovely Tiffany aka Mrs. Tee from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter. Mrs. Tee is the new age Mrs. Brady, with her husband and their six kiddos ranging from college age to toddler. She writes about her family, love, her life, and all kinds of laughter and happiness. Be sure to check out her site to see her answers to today’s swap. You should also follow her on Instagram so you can check out all her photos from her recent trip to Disney!

And now, on to Tiffany’s questions for me!

1. In your post I Don’t Listen To Me, you talk about how easy it can be to encourage support and give advice to others but, in turn, so hard to do the same for yourself. I feel the same way at times when I find myself giving advice that I need to apply to my own situations.
Since writing this post, how have you made steps to get better at encouraging and supporting yourself the same way you do those around you?

I think the biggest step I’ve made is changing how I talk to myself. I think I had trained myself to think (at least subconsciously) that I wasn’t worthy of the same kindness I offered to others. So while I knew I needed to be kinder to myself, I had years of negativity telling me I didn’t deserve it. (Does that make sense?) So now I make a conscious effort to tell myself that I’m worth taking care of, and that makes it a little easier to be kind to myself.

2. Your tag line is “my path to crazy”… Can you explain what that means to you?

I’ve always viewed my life as some form of chaos. Life with chronic illness isn’t any less crazy, in fact, there are days I feel my life now is more nuts than life when my son was a toddler! I chose that as my tagline, and my screen name/title of Becomin Neurotic, because there are times I truly feel like I’m losing my mind. I’m learning to embrace it, though, this craziness. And wouldn’t you know it, life is slightly calmer when you stop fighting for all the control?

3. Congratulations in your engagement!!! What would you want in your dream wedding if money was not an issue?

Thank you!! I think if money weren’t an issue, we’d still have something similar to what we’re doing, which is a small party with those we love. If money weren’t an issue, though, I’d be able to fly out friends from Florida and Texas and Louisiana to celebrate with us.

4. Where is your perfect destination for a honeymoon (again money doesn’t matter)?

Oh boy! Well, I’d love something silly, like Disneyworld, since neither of us have been and I really want to see the Harry Potter world! Or maybe something romantic like a trip around Europe where we could see castles, eat all sorts of delicacies, and kiss in Italy.

5. It’s a cold, chilly day…what is your favorite thing to do (read, blog, movies, etc)?

I absolutely love curling up with a cup of hot tea and a good book on chilly days. If my fiance is home, I prefer snuggling while watching a movie and sharing popcorn.

6. Do you prefer coffee, tea, soda, or water?

Tea, all day. And if it’s warmer than winter? Sweet tea. (I’m sure some of my genes are southern.)

7. When you’re at a low point, what is the one thing that can always lift you up?

My fiance. His love is so completely unconditional, it’s almost overwhelming. On the lowest days, he still tells me I’m beautiful, that I’m his dream come true. I may not always feel beautiful, but to see the love and honesty in his eyes, it’s hard to deny how he sees me. And that kind of love is pretty powerful, even against the darkest depression and the worst pain.

Also, my doggy can always make me smile :)

8. What’s your favorite movie?

It’s always a been a tie between Top Gun and Dirty Dancing. Because I’m a sucker for cheesy lines and eighties love stories.

“Maverick, take me to bed or lose me forever.” “I carried a watermelon.”

9. If you could be a guest star on any TV show which would it be? Why?

Well, if I also magically gained acting abilities, I’d love to be on Once Upon A Time or in the new series Outlander. Why? Because I still believe in fairy tales, and I want to meet Jamie and Claire.

10. You have $1000 to spend anyway you want…how would you spend it?

Well the sensible side of me says to spend it on bills. But truly? I’d want to take an honest to goodness vacation. In the five years we’ve been together, my fiance and I’ve never had a chance to fly away together. I figure $1000 would be enough to maybe go to Disney or visit loved ones in Southern California, Florida, Minnesota, or Texas.

Wow! Mrs. Tee sure had some thinkers! Don’t forget to hop on over to her site to see her answers to my questions for her. And y’all have yourselves a wonderful weekend! Me? It’s my birthday weekend, so I’m going bowling with my guys and a few of our loved ones, followed by dinner at my favorite pizza joint. Woohoo!

I Can’t Make Her Understand

What’s new?

Well, on Monday I got to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy to try to determine what’s behind the ongoing gastro issues I’ve been having. While the prep was just as horrible as everyone told me it would be, the doctor says I did wonderfully and there were no issues that required immediate action during the procedure. We should have the results of the biopsies within a week, and then we’ll hopefully have a plan of action.

I had a revelation while dealing with this whole process, though.

My mother will never understand.

While I don’t like to make my health front and center with my family, because it’s ALWAYS a sore topic, I felt it was important my mom know what was going on because we were trying to arrange a time for her to bring my son to us. Since my mom has had this procedure done, I figured she’d be sympathetic, or at least understanding.

I was wrong.

I planned ahead and told everyone I would be unavailable most of the weekend, as I knew I’d be doing the prep for the procedure. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to NOT talk to people from my bathroom. Call it manners, or something. And yet, my mother called repeatedly, and when I did answer, she was annoyed when I explained why I couldn’t talk.

On Monday, she called and asked if I had talked to my sister. I said I had not, as I’d been a little busy dealing with my own stuff. She again brushed it off like the procedure was no big deal. I told her I was leaving for the hospital then, and we hung up. She then called back right as I was getting checked in. I stared at my fiance in shock. What was she not getting about this?

As I had promised, I sent out texts to my mom, my dad, and a few close friends when I was released to let them know I was okay and heading home to rest. My dad (whom my mom swears is a horrible person who can’t possibly love me) replied immediately asking if there was anything he could do and thanking Scotty for taking such good care of me. Close friends responded sending their love and prayers. My mom?

She replied almost two hours later, “I’m glad you survived.”

I have never been so angry.

Why was she being so nonchalant about this all? While I realize the procedure is fairly routine, it was still scary for me. It’s also a part of the bigger picture of my overall health. Things have not been well so far this year, and this test was just another in a stream of diagnostics in an effort to find the best possible treatment plan for ALL of my autoimmune disorders.

I spent most of Monday evening in tears, frustrated and angry. I debated calling my mom to explain how she’d hurt my feelings. I vented on Twitter and finally begged my fiance for help. How should I handle this?

And Scotty, in his infinite wisdom, reminded me of something my therapist had recently told me.

While my mom is in recovery for her alcoholism, it doesn’t mean her personality is going to miraculously change. She will still be the same narcissist who doesn’t think anyone’s problems are as crucial and important as her own.

She will still be the mom who can’t face the fact that I am truly sick, that this isn’t something I’ve brought on myself, and that I’m not just making it all up.

This doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t still hurt, it just means that I see the futility of trying to talk to her about it. Since she doesn’t believe it’s real, she won’t understand why I’m making a scene.

It takes energy to put up a fight. Is it really worth my spoons to keep trying to convince her to see life from my point of view?

The short answer? Nope.

So I journaled my feelings and let it go. I accepted the love that was pouring forth from Scotty, my father, and my close friends. I curled up with my dog and let that love wash over me while I reminded myself that there were plenty of people who genuinely care about me.

And suddenly, things didn’t hurt so much anymore.

 

What do you do when family or loved ones dismiss your health problems? Do you have any tips for me?

Ask Away Friday The Husband Swap

The last few weeks, a few of the AAF bloggers have had swaps celebrating the men behind the bloggers. When the idea was first discussed on the forum, Tracie and I pounced. Since we’re super close, there’s not much Tracie and I don’t know about each other. That’s not to say a swap between us wouldn’t be fun, it would be, and I imagine we’ll do a swap one of these days.

But our significant others? They just know what Tracie and I pass along, or what they glean from social media. We decided to have my fiance and Tracie’s husband swap questions for each other.

AAFThomasCollage

 

So kick back in your best version of an Al Bundy pose and get ready to learn all about Scotty. Then hop on over to Tracie’s site to learn a little more about her husband, Thomas. Maybe you’ll see why Tracie and I feel we’ve nabbed a few of the last good men ;)

Thomas’s questions to Scotty (I should note that I’ve been instructed to copy and paste these questions EXACTLY as Thomas typed them. So I did, with the exception of adding my standard formatting.) -

1. What do you love most about Tia?

While it’s easy to say her smile or her eyes (because it’s true), I’d rather focus on a part of what makes her *her*. I truly love her generosity. She always tries to find ways to create pick-me-ups for friends, the time she spends helping others, all the things she does giving of herself. She is one of the most selfless people I know.

2. If it were possible to build a house and live successfully on any real planet or moon, besides Earth, which one would you pick, and why?
What about a fictional planet or moon? Example: Naboo or some place in the Degobah System

Well, given that Mars seems to be a “potential” destination for a manned mission (and perhaps way down the road an established colony) that would be my choice. I am so curious to find out if Martian soil would have the right chemical makeup to support growing crops. Obviously the issue of available water (or lack thereof) would come into play.

As for a fictional planet? It’s a toss-up between Rylos or the planet from Land of the Lost.

3. A day at the races, or a night at the opera?

Animal Crackers *and* The Game.

4. I’ll give you $500 to spend the night in A) the most haunted house, B) the most decrepit catacomb, or C) the deepest cave. Which one do you choose? Is $500 enough? (Oh, by the way, you can’t bring any weapons or lights!)

Seeing as how caves and catacombs give me the creeps, I’d probably have to choose the haunted house. But I would have picked that anyway. There’s a bit of a thrill in having to endure something like that, and really, if I can’t bring any weapons, it’s the safest environment. And I suppose $500 would be enough, but I’d gladly take more!

5. Which cartoon character best represents your personality? (For instance, I’m Foghorn Leghorn, with a little Fred Flintstone thrown in for good measure.)

I’m certainly a mix of several characters. There’s a little bit of Barney Rubble, Daffy Duck and all three Ed’s from “Ed, Edd, and Eddy” in my personality. There’s also a Canadian cartoon that I’ve caught on “over-the-air” broadcast TV called “Being Ian”. It’s about a kid who works in a music store, makes movies, and is always in a predicament. I think they based it on me!

6. What is the worst movie you have ever seen? (I’m sure it will be Mars Attacks, but Tracie is beating me about the head and shoulders yelling, “Dude, Where’s My Car!!” which I have never seen.)

First, I liked “Mars Attacks”. Second, I’ve never seen “Dude, Where’s My Car?” either. Third, I’ve seen many stinkers over the years due to watching my favorite TV show of all time, Mystery Science Theater 3000.

So, all that being considered, I’ll adjust the criteria to being a movie I paid money to watch in the theater. And that makes the answer simple: “The Day After Tomorrow” starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. I remember watching it and thinking, “this has to go somewhere, right?” It was so cliched; just bad.

7. Are you pro or against changing the name of the Washington Redskins?

If you had asked me 10-15 years ago, I bet my answer would have been different. But ask me now, and I will tell you I am *for* changing it. It’s extremely insensitive in this day and age, especially when matched with their logo. The same can be said for the Cleveland Indians.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, but in the interest of full disclosure, I am also a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan. While I still own memorabilia with their highly inappropriate logo from the 1980’s, it’s not something I’m overly proud of. I would be alright with them eliminating to the tomahawk logo, or at least phase it out significantly.

8. What time period and geographic location would you choose to live in if you could go back in time? And, yes, you can bring your own Novocain, Penicillin, and a Physicians Desk Reference (because I’m not sharing mine).

While it’s not very long ago, I’ve always had a fondness for late 1920’s / early 1930’s Hollywood. The architecture, the climate, the “freshness”. I’ve always imagined a sense of hopefulness around that era.

If I had to choose something more than just 80-90 years in the past, I’d love to live in Europe in the mid to late 1700’s and experience the works of Mozart and Beethoven as they were presented for the first time.

9. Is it better to burn out or fade away?

Hey hey, my my… It is better to fade away, because burning out can be pretty absolute. I’d like to believe that you can fade away while still enjoying whatever you’re fading away from or with.

10. We have an ongoing disagreement in our family about the lyrics to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Tracie has asked people this question to get them on her side before, and now it is my turn. When you get to the line, “Then all the reindeer loved him, and they shouted out with glee…..” what word do you say next? “Glee!” or “Yippee”? I am sure that you will get this correct and say GLEE! We should form an alliance. You are going to say glee, right?

Um… Honestly? Neither! I always said “Whee!” So, does that answer give me Switzerland-like neutrality?

Bonus Question: Which Oregon team would you least like to see Alabama stomp into the ground?

Easy… Oregon State! But I know that if they were to face Alabama, the Beavers would be thoroughly stomped. Sad, but true!

 

WOW! Well, as you can imagine, I’m over here sobbing and smiling like a goon at his answer to number 1. What a great bunch of questions, and of course, Scotty had some wonderful answers! Don’t forget to hop over to Tracie’s site and check out the other half of this swap.

Thank you Tracie and Thomas for such a fun post! Happy weekend!