Category Archives: Ask Away Friday

Ask Away Friday, All You Need Is Love!

Happy, happy Friday!

This week has been a long one, so long in fact, that I went around thinking yesterday was Friday all day. Which made me look like a bit of a dolt on the old Tweeter machine, but there ya go.

The exciting thing about this Friday is that I’m finally swapping with the lovely Tracie, my sister from another mister. You may remember a while back when Tracie’s husband and Scotty swapped questions, now it’s time for us ladies.

If you don’t know Tracie yet, you be sure to hop on over to her place and get to know her. She’s a pretty awesome lady who shares her voice for survivors everywhere, a home-schooling mama to one fantastic little girl (whom I’ve adopted as my niece), and a writer who can spin her words into the most vivid imagery. I promise you, you won’t be sorry for heading over.

This week Tracie and I decided to get in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, and talk about love, Valentine’s Day, and our very special men. So grab a box of chocolates and put on your favorite chick flick, it’s about to get all kinds of sappy up in here.

1. When you were a kid, and you had classroom Valentine’s Day parties, did you make your own valentines, or buy them from the store?

It’s funny, I can remember making my own valentines, but I think we mostly bought them. Maybe I made them in kindergarten and first grade?

2. What movie or book about love do you….well, love?

Well you know I love the love story in the Outlander series and I still want the “Talk Jamie to me” t-shirt. But, love movies are a different story. Dirty Dancing- Because of his speech at the end. “A person who’s taught me about the kind of person I want to be.” I like that. Love shouldn’t be about changing someone, but you should inspire growth within one another.

3. “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever (Full disclosure: I’ve never read this book, but I find the quote interesting.) What do you feel about this quote in light of your own life – is this how love started for you?

In a way, yes. Scotty and I certainly weren’t looking for love when we first started chatting with each other. Instead we found great friends within one another, and then all of a sudden, I realized I was head over heals for him. And it happened completely by accident. I do believe there is a time and a place, in so far as I believe things happen when they are meant to, love included. Had Scotty and I met five years sooner, we would have been different people, and possibly not ready for the love we’ve found.

4. Have you heard of the five love languages? Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality of Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Which one best matches your heart, and which one best matches Scotty’s?

LOL My first mother-in-law actually bought me this book to try to help my first marriage. Here’s a tip folks- Books like that only work if both partners are interested in trying it out.

As for Scotty and I, I think we both have two love languages that work together to make us feel loved the best. For him, it’s Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. For me, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. We both really crave that hug at the end of the work day to feel reconnected, and it’s a pretty good indicator that something is amiss if we go a whole day without a hug or holding hands. But where all the little things he does to make my life easier speak to me, he really needs to hear the words. So I leave him little notes with his lunches, or text him throughout the day while he’s at work. We’re cute like that.

5. Did you ever take one of those quizzes in Seventeen magazine to figure out if “he really loves you” when you were a teenager?

Oh.My.Gosh. All.The.Time!

6. All of us old married (and almost married) people need to keep the spark alive. What is your favorite date night idea that doesn’t cost a lot of money?

I love curling up with a movie or TV show at home. Scotty and I will pop popcorn and share M&M’s. I also like game nights with board games or a deck of cards.

7. Do you believe that love conquers all?

I think so. But a person needs to be open to it. I think people can be hurt in life, and in turn close themselves off to the possibility of love. Which breaks my heart, because there’s so much love out there just waiting to be given and taken. You just have to open yourself up a little.

Okay, a lot.

8. Do you and Scotty have a special song? Is it a love song? Or just a song that the two of you love together?

This song was pretty popular when we started dating, and I just loved how the lyrics seemed to be about us. On our first anniversary, he had a gig, so I surprised him with a party at the gig, complete with his band singing this song just for us to have a dance together. That’s one of my favorite memories, there ❤

9. What is your favorite quote about love?

EmilyBronte

10. What do you love most about Scotty, and what would you say does he love most about you?

His answer when Thomas asked him was:

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.

Aw!! Right?!

And for me: I love Scotty’s passion. If you could see how his face lights up when he plays his guitar, you would know instantly what I mean. And he has that throughout his entire being. He has a passion for learning, for music, and for love. He has a heart like no one I’ve ever known. Everything in his life, he approaches with an open mind and a heart full of passion. That’s pretty admirable, if you ask me.

Oh goodness Tracie, thank you so much! This swap was loads of fun, and I am so happy to leave my weekend on such a positive note.

I hope you all enjoyed this little bit of love. Now go have a great weekend, and spread a little of your own love. The world could use some 🙂

 

Ask Away Friday, My Interview

I recently saw an article on Facebook titled something along the lines of, “20 Questions You Should Ask Your Partner Before Agreeing To Marry Them.” Since I’ve already agreed to marry Scotty, it seemed a little superfluous to start asking him these questions now, and most of them I already knew the answer to. Mostly because we talked a lot in those early days of dating, and also because I like to be nosy.

Anyhow, it got me to thinking, and I asked Scotty if he’d be willing to interview me for this week’s round of #AskAwayFriday. Shockingly, he agreed. (I was shocked because he’s had a crazy long week at work and tons of stress. The last thing he needs is another project. And yet, I gave him one. Aren’t I sweet?)

So here you have it, the ten questions Scotty just had to know about me. Who wants to lay bets on whether he’ll still want to marry me after he reads my answers?

1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oy. I actually have a couple that annoy me equally, but if I had to narrow it down, I would say: People who smack their food while talking. And yes, I am aware your father does this. And yes, he is aware it annoys me. And yes, I know that’s why he still does it.

2. Here’s a repeat from the swap I did with Tracie’s husband: If someone had never read your blog before, which post would you want them to read first?

First, I loved how Thomas answered this one, because I, too, am struck by Tracie’s free-writing about seemingly innocuous things. Second, it’s really hard for me to choose. If they were trying to get to know me, Just One…But So Much More, Who I Am, or any of the Ask Away Friday posts are a great start.

3. What do you consider the best thing (fact/life lesson/moment) that your son has shared with you?

Ooh, breaking out the big guns. Especially since you know how awesome this kiddo is. I’d have to say last summer when he was listening to Linkin Park, and was making connections with their lyrics to the issues currently facing our world, like equality and gun control. For him to have such insight at such a young age…I was blown away. And hopeful. Hopeful that he’ll continue to be such a deep and free thinker, and that he’ll someday use that mind to help change the world.

4. Board games or video games?

While I do enjoy Mario Kart and other games on the Wii U with you, I really prefer board games or even card games. They remind me of my childhood, and of spending time with my grandmother. Also, I’m fairly evenly matched against you when technology isn’t involved 😉

5. What is your favorite holiday, and why?

I love to celebrate, so I really love all holidays. Probably New Year’s is my favorite, though. I love the idea of starting anew, and getting a fresh start. Yes, I probably have made and broken tons of resolutions, but…it’s more about the excitement and the infectious feeling that suddenly anything is possible once again.

6. You have 24 hours to show a friend around our great state of Oregon. If sleep wasn’t required and money were no object, where would you take your friend?

Hrms. Well, it kinda depends on the friend, now doesn’t it? Certain friends have different interests, and Oregon has a little of something to offer everyone. But some basics I think everyone should see:

Crater Lake

source
source

The Coast

7. You have been fighting invisible illnesses for some time now, starting with your diagnosis of RA almost three years ago. What do you know now that you wish you had known then?

I wish I had known what a huge and wonderful support system the online spoonie community is. It took me somewhere around six to nine months to stumble across the first chronic illness forums, and (as you may remember) those were months spent suffering without much hope. I also wish I had known that I could question my doctors, request second opinions, and do my own research. I went so blindly in the beginning, and some of those choices have caused damage that cannot be repaired.

8. If someone made a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? And who would have supporting roles?

I would love for Melissa McCarthy to play me. I adore her sense of humor, and I think we kinda resemble one another (she says humbly). As for supporting roles, I think Seth Rogan would be a good you. He’s funny and quirky, which are two things I love about you. Then we could cast Jonah Hill as Seth! And how about Christina Hendricks as Kristen, but mostly because of that gorgeous red hair. And Jerry Stiller could play your dad :p

9. You sang in school choir when you were growing up. If you could sing like any particular vocalist, who and why?

When I was younger, I dreamed of being the next Mariah or Whitney. Now though? I would love to be able to sing and write like Adele. In my grandest dreams, I can sing like Adele and I have a band where I do covers of all my favorite rock songs, in ballad form. Because I’m quirky like that.

10. Your love for Linkin Park is well known. Were you a fan of them before seeing them live in concert, or afterward?

I was a fan of them from the moment I saw them on one of the award shows in 2000, performing One Step Closer. I bought Hybrid Theory and those are the songs I hummed to my newborn child as I rocked him to sleep. I never looked back, either. I’ve loved every album they’ve put out, and seeing them live for my 25th birthday was one of the greatest gifts ever. I would love to see them again, and to get to take you and the kiddo.

 

Well, Scotty says he’ll still marry me, despite some of my answers :p So yay! Hopefully y’all enjoyed this take on Ask Away Friday. If you’d like to swap questions with me, shoot me an email at becominneurotic@gmail.com or check out the Facebook group. Scotty and I are off to enjoy a quiet weekend at home, hopefully curled up with a funny movie and some boardgames 🙂

 

Ask Away Friday The Solo Edition

Happy Friday y’all!

I’m not entirely sure how the first week of November is already behind us, but here we are. This week was packed with all the usual kinds of stuff, with an added bit of family stress. I’ve also been participating in #NaBloPoMo, so it’s been a flurry of activity around here.

This week I decided to forego swapping with a partner, and instead share with y’all ten random tidbits about me. Maybe even things that haven’t been shared in the Ask Away Friday posts.

1. I argue with my TV. Usually it’s when I’m feeling my worst and I’m grumpy with it, but honestly, I can be found lobbing snarky comments at TV shows, commercials, and news programs fairly often.

2. I love lists. To-do lists or shopping lists, it doesn’t matter. They soothe me in a way I can’t really explain. I write and re-write them often. I have a running household to-do list on a white board in our kitchen/dining room area. I have a notebook where I keep a personal to-do list and a list of working blog post ideas. I have a separate notebook full of lists for the wedding. I love making playlists of music for myself and my friends. I love lists.

3. I’m a lightweight. I used to be able to drink any of my guy friends under the table in college. Now? One glass of wine and I’m a giggly mess. Most of that is due to the fact I rarely drink anymore. With all the medicine I take, it’s not wise to mix a lot of alcohol. And honestly, there’s not a lot of joy in going out to get trashed anymore. Gah, I sound old, right?

4. I have made it to the ripe old age of 32 without ever having smoked pot. If you knew me in high school, this would shock you. I dated a pothead, all my friends smoked it…I just was too chicken. I still drank like a fish and smoked cigarettes, but just couldn’t bring myself to try pot. And now that it’s legal in my great state, I still don’t see it in my future, not even when some have said it could help with my pain. Guess I’m still a chicken…

5. I’m terrified of heights. Bridges, Ferris wheels, skyscrapers…NOPE. I once had a panic attack while in stuck in traffic in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge. For as long as I can remember, they’ve scared me. The funny thing? I love roller coasters. Bizarre, I know.

6. I don’t like rats, mice, ferrets, frogs, snakes, lizards, or anything else close to them. I know some people consider them pets, but I just can’t. They creep me out and make my skin crawl.

7. I have nieces and nephews I’ve never met. I don’t know their names or how old they are. Because I have siblings with whom I’m not close, I’m not a part of their children’s lives. There is a part of me that regrets this, but I know it’s really for the best. Sometimes even family is toxic, and we must distance ourselves.

8. I am forever starting things and not finishing them. I have dozens of crafts in varying states of completion, ideas for this blog that have only been outlined, and I can’t tell you how many times I get excited about a new thing only to put it down for whatever reason. Maybe my resolution for 2015 should be to complete some of these things…

9. I don’t like pumpkin anything. Or avocado. I’ll only eat bananas if they’re baked, like in banana bread. The only squash I like is zucchini. All these fall foods everyone is loving right now, and I’m like NOPE. I’m also not a huge fan of chowders. Weird, I know.

10. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, have been since I was little. I’ve loved them when they were great, when they were terrible, and every season in between. I’m not, however, a fan of Romo. I think he’s overrated. And I’ve had about enough of Jerry Jones. I think Michael Irvin is probably my favorite all-time player, though I have a soft spot for DeMarcus Ware. I was pissed Dallas didn’t do more to hold on to him after last season.

And there you have it. Did you already know some of these things about me? Did any thing surprise or shock you?

If you’d like to swap ten questions with me for a round of Ask Away Friday, check out their Facebook group or email me at becominneurotic@gmail.com

Ask Away Friday The Halloween Edition

“Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?”

This is Halloween, this is Halloween. For this lovely day of fun, sweets, and fright, I’ve teamed up with Christy from Uplifting Families for a holiday themed version of Ask Away Friday. So grab your favorite candy, kick up your witch’s boots, and read away!

AAFChristyCollage

1. Are you planning on doing anything for Halloween?

My fiance and I are going to curl up at home with movies and snacks. No kiddos to take out, and our little doggy doesn’t really like a lot of commotion, so we won’t be handing out candy either. Just us and a little Time Warp 😉

2. What is your favorite kind of Halloween candy?

Anything chocolate. Seriously. Probably the better question is what candy do I hate. The answer being Necco wafers. Those things are disgusting.

3. Have you visited a pumpkin patch or other fall themed party this year?

No! *sad panda* I had high hopes for a corn maze or something, but then I got the sinus infection that lasted nearly all month, and just as I was feeling well enough, the torrential rains started. It’s like October conspired against me.

4. What do you think will be the most popular costume this year for girls?

Probably Elsa from Frozen. I’ve already seen it all over my timeline this week. Which? I get it. She’s a strong Disney character for little girls to look up to, and I think many can relate to the morals/emotions behind the story line.

For boys?

Huh. I’m not sure what the big movies were this year. Maybe characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. My own kiddo is wearing a serial killer clown mask, a hoodie, and jeans. I sure hope he’s not planning on handing out candy, he’ll probably scar some little tyke.

5. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?

When I was four I got to be Rainbow Brite. It was one of those vinyl plasticy costumes with the masks you couldn’t breathe out of, but it was awesome. And now I want to be Rainbow Brite again.

6. Did you make any Pinteresting Halloween treats?

Sadly, no. Again with October working against me. Dinner tonight will probably be grilled cheese because that honestly sounds divine right now.

7. Do you plan on dressing up for Halloween? If so, what do your plan on
wearing?

No costume this year. So I’ll be rocking yoga pants and a cozy tee. But I am wearing orange socks with little black jack o’lanterns all over them, so that has to count, right?

8. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses?

I do NOT. I hate having things pop out at me. Funny story, I went to one when I was pregnant with my kiddo. One of the “actors” lunged out at me and I hit him. I was not-so-kindly asked to leave the attraction by on-site security. I guess it’s against the rules for people to touch the actors but not for them to touch us? I don’t know. My parting words were, “HE SHOULDN’T HAVE LUNGED OUT AT A VERY LARGE PREGNANT WOMAN!” I’m classy like that.

9. Pick one: Would you rather go through a haunted house or stick your
hand in a bucket of unknown goodies?

I can always wash my hand, so I choose option 2.

10. What is your favorite scary movie?

I’ve not liked any scary movie I’ve been forced to watch. I like suspense, but I hate gore and grime and maniacal screaming. My favorite movie to watch on Halloween? Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

Thank you for a great Halloween swap, Christy! I hope you all have a great holiday, and celebrate safely, however you choose to do it. Now pass the chocolate!

Ask Away Friday The Birthday Edition!

Today is the lovely Miss Echo’s birthday!

HappyBDayEcho

To celebrate, Echo and I decided we’d do a birthday version of #AskAwayFriday. So here are ten questions (my five and her five, teamwork baby!) about birthdays, celebrations, and parties. See what I had to say, then run over to Echo’s site, The Domain of the Mad Mommy, to read her awesome answers and wish her the very best of birthdays!

My five-

1. What is the best birthday gift you’ve ever received? What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

The best birthday gift I’ve received was when my fiance searched out and bought the entire Outlander series for my 30th birthday. It was such a surprise that he’d not only remembered they were my favorite books, but was able to order them and have them shipped without my finding out. (I’m sneaky and hate the suspense of surprises.)

2. Do you like surprise parties, or do you prefer to be the party planner?

I love being the party planner, mostly because I have some control issues and I love to be crafty. But I’ve always secretly wished someone would throw me a surprise party.

3. What is your favorite party theme? (Whether you’ve actually done it or not)

I would love, love, LOVE to have a Mad Hatter Tea Party theme. So much so that some elements will be making an appearance at our wedding next year.

4. Are you a cupcake, sheet cake, or cheesecake kinda gal? And what’s your favorite flavor?

I’m sorry, did you say cake? If it has cake in the name, Ima eat it. Except carrot cake. Ew.

5. What would be your birthday wish this year?

Since my birthday just passed in August, I’ll say my wish for next year (the big 3-3 yo!) would be to be able to afford a great honeymoon, since our wedding is two days before my birthday next summer 🙂

Her five-

1. If you could have any celebrity chef cook you a birthday meal, who would it be and why?

Mario Batali. That man knows his way around pasta and cheese, which are two of my favorite food groups. Also, he loves good music, so I kinda feel like he’d be cool to have dinner with.

2. If you got free plane tickets to anywhere to use on your birthday, where would you go?

Since it’d be summer and my kiddo would be with me, the three of us would go to Orlando. Where I’d get to love on Tracie and her family, and then have them show us around Disneyworld.

3. What is the one thing that you always do for yourself on your birthday?

Um wow. I think I’ve just realized that I don’t really do anything for myself for my birthday…

4. Google what celebrities share your birthday, share a couple!

PicMonkey Collage
Photos from: here and here respectively

I don’t even have to Google it. I share a birthday with James Hetfield of Metallica. Which is pretty epic. But I did Google it, and here are a few others: Tom Brady (Ew), Ryan Lochte, Martha Stewart (Eh), and Tony Bennett. I’ll take James Hetfield and Tony Bennett to mean I was born to love music ❤

5. What is one gift that you have ALWAYS wanted, but haven’t yet gotten?

A makeover. I’ve always dreamed of being surprised with a new hairdo, makeup, and wardrobe ala What Not To Wear on TLC. Even if it was on a much smaller scale, I would love the opportunity to be dolled up and pampered.

I really enjoyed talking birthdays with you, Echo! I hope you have a stellar day and weekend ❤

**If you would like to join in the Ask Away Friday fun, email me personally, or check out their Facebook page for more info. 

Ask Away Friday Vol. 14

What a glorious day! Fall is here in full swing. There is a windy, rainy storm outside my windows, I’m bundled under my throw blanket, and I’m sipping hot apple cider while I type this. Life, it’s all about these little moments of great happiness.

FallSky
My stormy Oregon skyline

Another reason it’s a great day, it’s Friday! And that means it’s time for a round of #AskAwayFriday!

If you’re a new reader, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and we all get to know each other a little better. This week I had the lovely pleasure of swapping with Bernadyn from B is 4…

AAFBernadynCollage

Bernadyn, or B (as she likes to be called) is a married mom of two adorable little munchkins. She reminds me a bit of myself, as she has many passions- writing, photography, cooking, baking, crafting… She has her finger in a lot of different pies, and unlike me, she seems to pull it all off effortlessly. I’m gonna have to get her to share her secret with me. And all this while chasing around her kiddos! Be sure to hop on over to her site today to see what I asked her, and how she answered. And poke around a bit, her recipes and pictures are phenomenal!

1. What movies and books do you look forward to reading and watching in the next couple months?

Oh goodness! I really need to get back to reading. Maybe these stormy fall days will inspire me to update my reading list and make a sizable dent in it. Do you have any suggestions for me? As for movies- I’d kinda like to see Big Hero Six, the previews are cute. My fiance and I are also going to have a movie night on Halloween. We’ll be watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Young Frankenstein, two of our all time favorites 🙂

2. I’ve gotten better with it but for me, balancing my time is the hardest challenge to maintain my blog regularly. What is the biggest challenge you may have with blogging?

Mine is also time. I can’t just sit down and crank out a post in minutes, it usually takes me at least a few hours. Then editing, promoting, etc… There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

3. What is your favorite activity to do with your son?

I love movie nights. It sounds so silly, but they’re wonderful. He’ll pick out a movie and we’ll all curl up in our jammies with snacks and blankets and watch together. He’s getting too old for a lot of things, but he still loves movie nights. And so they are my favorite.

4. I love your “Just One…But So Much More” post! I like how you share your character and who you are. What would you say is your best quality? What would you say others think is your best quality?

Thank you so very much! I’m so blessed that post has gotten so much attention, as I wrote it for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. My best quality? I would have to say I value my intelligence. Growing up it wasn’t cool to be the smart girl, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’m not a genius, but I can hold my own at Scrabble, and that’s no small feat 😉 My fiance says my passion, and my ability to put that passion into the things I believe in. (Aw! Thanks honey!)

5. What is your favorite fall activity?

Being cozy! LOL I love being able to bundle up and listen to the storm rage outside. I love the smell of rain. I love hot tea and watching a movie, or reading a book. I love everything about this time of year, all those cozy feelings.

6. Where is a local place (restaurant, store, event, museum, etc.) that you have never been to but would like to visit?

Restaurant: The Old Spaghetti Factory

Store: There are a few new thrift stores that have popped up that I would love to putter through.

Event: About 30 mins away is an Octoberfest every fall. We’ve missed each it each year so far, but I have hopes we’ll be able to go next year.

Museum: I actually haven’t been to any of the local museums since moving here five years ago, so I should probably get on it!

7. What is something on your bucket list that you’d like to accomplish in the next five years?

Well this might be a cop-out, but my bucket list says To Marry The Man Of My Dreams, and we’ll be taking those vows next August. It’s a big deal, for both of us. I’ll take it further by saying I hope to be able to actually walk down the aisle to my groom. When I was first diagnosed, they told me I wouldn’t be able to. I can still walk today, and hope to keep that up, at least through the wedding.

8. Do you keep your phone, computer, tablets or any other electronic devices by you at all times? Does it ever get turned off?

My iPhone is nearly always by my side. Both because I’m addicted to it, and in case of emergencies. The laptop stays nearby during the days, but my phone is the main thing. It stays on my bedside stand at night, but does get put on silent. It rarely, if ever, gets turned completely off.

9. Who is someone who had a big influence on you while you were growing up and why? What’s the most memorable thing about that person?

My grandmother, my mom’s mother. She had such a big heart. My mother and her didn’t get along, but from age 10 to 15, I got to spend nearly every weekend visiting her. Grandma was disabled, diabetes had taken both feet and she was wheelchair bound. She also battled depression, but she didn’t let any of that stop her from making wonderful memories with me. She died from complications of diabetes when I was 15, and I am still heartbroken for her loss. She taught me so many things, but the most memorable was how to be okay with my own company.

10. If you had a magic lamp to make three wishes with but they could not be wishes to directly benefit you, what wishes would you make and for who? (They could be for the same person or for three different people.)

Ooh! Well I’d love to wish for a nice windfall to ease the financial strains on my fiance, but I suppose that would still benefit me, so I’ll play by the rules. :p I’d wish for a windfall for Tracie and her family, to ease their struggles so that they can enjoy life a little bit more. I’d wish for a way to ease the pain of those I love, all my spoonie framily who are battling each and every day. I’d wish for the perfect care home for my future father in law. To date, we’ve only been able to find temporary solutions. I’d like to be able to give him a permanent home that meets all of this medical needs, while still giving him some independence and providing a happy environment.

 

Whoa! Bernadyn sure had some deep-thinker questions for me! Thank you B for such a great swap 🙂 Y’all be sure to head over to her site to see her answers and check out all of her awesomeness. Happy weekend everybody!

 

Ask Away Friday, The Over-Achiever Edition

A few weeks back, Tamara went all over-achiever on the the questions thing.

AAFOverAchieverEdition

If you don’t know Tamara, you should check her out. Possibly start with that post, you’ll learn lots about her. If you know me at all, you’ll probably think Tamara and I are related or best friends since we were toddlers. I’ve come to the conclusion that our souls must be old friends, much like Dawnie. And Tracie. And Teala.

It’s rare to find someone in life whom your soul recognizes. Or maybe, we’ve all become numb to it in this hustle bustle world full of acquaintances and work-friends and people we know but maybe don’t KNOW. I don’t know how I got so lucky, or if I just opened myself up more, but I’ve definitely been blessed to find a few souls my heart knows already. It’s how I knew Scotty was the one for me, and how Nubs became my brother from another mother. It’s the reason why I would choose Teala to be in our wedding, though we’ve never actually met face to face. Sometimes, you just KNOW.

Anyhow, I know Tamara, and she knows me, at least…she says she doesn’t consider me a stalker and I haven’t scared her away yet, so there’s that. And for all of you who’d like to know me a little better, here you go-

1. What are you wearing?

My version of the spoonie uniform: jammie pants, fun socks, and a t-shirt I borrowed from Scotty’s side of the closet.

2. Ever been in love?

I’m currently head over hills in love with Scotty and have been for the last five years.

3. Ever had a terrible breakup?

The dissolution of my first marriage wasn’t exactly easy. Leaving an abusive relationship was also pretty terrible, though in different ways.

4. How tall are you?

I think I’m right around 5’8″

5. How much do you weigh?

My weight has been an issue for the better part of two decades. So while I won’t tell you the number, I will say that I am holding steady and not gaining weight right now, which is an accomplishment with some of the meds I have to take.

6. Any tattoos?

I have one that I got for my 22nd birthday. It’s a crescent moon and my son’s name. I have a few more that I would like to get one of these days…

7. Any piercings?

At one point I had my bottom lip pierced as well as my navel. At another point I had my tongue pierced. But now I just have my ears, and at that, I rarely wear any earrings.

8. OTP (one true pair, favorite fictional couple)?

Claire and Jamie Fraser, forever and always. Also, Emma and Hook, Snow and Charming, Wesley and Buttercup.

9. Favorite show?

Once Upon A Time, Criminal Minds, The Voice, anything true crime.

10. Favorite bands?

Linkin Park. Elvis. Foo Fighters. Nirvana. Fleetwood Mac. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Meatloaf. Heart.

11. Something you miss?

A life free of pain.

12. Favorite song?

Linkin Park’s “A Place For My Head”

“I watch how the moon sits in the sky in the dark night, shining with the light from the sun. And the sun doesn’t give light to the moon assuming the moon’s gonna owe it one. It makes me think of how you act for me. You do favors and then rapidly you just turn around and start asking me about things you want back from me. I’m sick of the tension, sick of the hunger, sick of you acting like I owe you this. Find another place to feed your greed, while I find a place to rest.”

13. How old are you?

32

14. Zodiac sign?

I’m a Leo. And yes, I’m just as stubborn and proud as all the descriptions say I should be.

15. Quality you look for in a partner?

Honesty. Trust. Passion. A good heart. A great smile. Patience.

16. Favorite Quote?

LeoBuscaglia

17. Favorite actor?

Johnny Depp. Robin Williams. Kirsten Vangsness. Audrey Hepburn. Will Ferrell. Mel Brooks. Tim Curry. Gene Wilder. Lucy Ball.

18. Favorite color?

Teal.Turquoise.Aqua. That beautiful range between blue and green.

19. Loud music or soft?

That depends on my mood. There are times I need it loud to drown out the voices in my mind. There are times I need it soft to soothe the pain away.

20. Where do you go when you’re sad?

(I also love Scarlet’s answer.)

I often go to my writing. Whether it’s a journal, an open letter, or my blog, writing helps me talk through what I’m feeling, and to process it so I can heal.

21. How long does it take you to shower?

That depends. If it’s a run of the mill day, about 10 minutes. If it’s a high pain day, it can take up to 20 minutes, or it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles.

22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Assuming I’m staying home, about 30 minutes start to finish. If I have to get dressed in people clothes for an appointment, it can take closer to an hour.

23. Ever been in a physical fight?

None I’d like to remember.

24. Turn on?

Eyes that light up when he smiles. When he reaches over and caresses my hand. A text message that says he misses me while he’s at work. Hands that try to massage my pain away. That smile that says he’s still madly in love with me.

25. Turn off?

Dishonesty. Mistrust. Disrespect.

26. The reason I started blogging?

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. Blogging seemed like a place to find my words, my path. Who knew it would actually lead to those dreams coming true?

27. Fears?

Dying before I’ve lived. Losing my son. Losing Scotty. That I’ll be forgotten.

28. Last thing that made you cry?

A conversation with my younger sister.

29. Last time you said you loved someone?

About 20 minutes ago, via text.

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog?

It started as a Twitter handle to describe what I thought was a mental breakdown. It morphed into me sharing my stories of pain, mental illness, and loss- my path to crazy, and how I live.

31. Last book you read?

I just finished a number of ebooks that were so memorable I can’t think of their titles. For shame.

32. The book you’re currently reading?

Nothing at this moment, but I’m looking…

33. Last show you watched?

I’m currently watching a Wicked Attraction marathon on Discovery.

34. Last person you talked to?

Scotty

35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

He’s the love of my life.

36. Favorite food?

The edible kind. Ha! Truly though. I love comfort food. Pasta, potatoes, bread, soups and stews. Breakfast food. Desserts. Spicy food.

37. Place you want to visit?

Europe. The corner of Canada where K &S are. Florida. Texas. The Eastern seaboard. Scotland and Ireland.

38. Last place you were?

Besides home? My doctor’s office.

39. Do you have a crush?

The actor who plays Jamie Fraser in the Outlander series on Starz. Which I can’t watch because Starz refuses to put it on Hulu. Jerks. But him? He’s pretty dreamy.

40. Last time you kissed someone?

This morning. I kissed Scotty before he headed off to work.

41. Last time you were insulted?

Here.

42. Favorite flavor of sweet?

Chocolate.

43. What instruments do you play?

I don’t play any. I like to pretend I can sing.

44. Favorite piece of jewelry?

My engagement rings. My spoon necklace. A bracelet from Katie. The turquoise earrings that were Scotty’s first gift to me.

45. Last sport you played?

Ha! Ha! Ha!

46. Last song you sang?

Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood

47. Favorite chat up line?

From Scotty: “Are you in a construction zone? Cuz you’re double fine!”

48. Have you ever used it?

Not on my life!

49. Last time you hung out with anyone?

Besides Scotty? I got to visit with Nolan (aka Nubs) and Courtney at Scotty’s gig last weekend.

50. Who should answer these questions next?

Anyone who feels like it. Some are fun, some are kinda serious. Either way, I’d love to know more about YOU.

Ask Away Friday Vol. 13

It’s Friday again and time for a dose of Ask Away Friday!

This week I got to swap with the lovely Jenessa from Mothering {in Real Life}

(I don’t have a spiffy graphic this week cuz I started feeling puny while finishing this post up, and needed to just let it go. Sorry Jenessa, you deserve better.)

Jenessa is a married mom of three who blogs about life, her battles with depression, and her family. She has an honest voice that cuts through the fluff and tells it like it is. She’s not putting any fake flowers on it, this is mothering- in real life. Be sure to pop on over and tell her hi and check out her answers to my questions.

Here’s what Jenessa asked me-

1. I’m glad you have started therapy to learn some coping tools for your depression. What do you find works best for you? What else have you learned from therapy?

Journalling has been a new coping tool that I find helpful. I used to think my journals had to make sense, like my blog or writing. Learning that my journals could be messy, that they were more for freeing my mind, was HUGE. Now I scribble, write, doodle, and make thought bubbles in my journal. Whatever it takes to get the swirling thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

2. I love your recent post “Just one… but so much more“. What else would you add to your list of “I am…”?

Thank you! I wrote that post as part of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, and was really happy with the response I received. I don’t know if there is anything I would add, I think it came out well the first time.

3. What advice would you give to someone living with chronic pain, depression or other “invisible” illnesses?

Be gentle with yourself.

We all have these images of who we should be, and certain expectations of ourselves. When your life gets derailed by illness, it’s hard to reconcile our images of ourselves with what is actually possible. So we berate ourselves for not living up to this picture of perfection, when in reality, we’re doing the best we can within our new perimeters. So be gentle with yourself, be kind. Recognize that you’re doing your best, even if it’s not up to the same standards you used to have.

4. Tell an embarrassing childhood story – it could be about you, your son, or your fiancé.

Oh goodness. I won’t embarrass Scotty by sharing the stories his dad has told me. When Jojo was about three, we had just moved back to my hometown and were living with my parents while we got on our feet. We were all sitting in the living room talking one night, me, my (then) husband, and my parents. Jojo was in the middle of the floor playing with blocks when suddenly the tower he was building came crashing down. Without missing a beat, he uttered “Damnit!” with the same tone of voice as I do. And of course, everyone turned to look at me.

Jojo and I had a nice talk that night about how we don’t repeat the things Mama says.

5. You were a young mother, same as I was. How has starting motherhood young changed your life? (Or motherhood in general?)

I had to grow up. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Suddenly there was this tiny little human who relied on me for EVERYTHING. So I worked dead-end minimum wage jobs and went to the parenting classes offered by WIC and learned via trial and error. I won’t say I did everything right, but I have loved that little man since the moment I knew he existed, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

6. Share your favorite pumpkin or apple recipe for fall.

Here’s a little secret. I don’t like pumpkin. *gasp* Scotty does though, so I make him pumpkin cookies every fall. Maybe this year I’ll try pumpkin bread instead…

7. I love that your blog is so open and honest. Is there anything you don’t feel comfortable with sharing on your blog?

I try to keep respect for Scotty’s privacy. I don’t share about our personal lives here, no bedroom talk. I also don’t go into too much detail about his life, his work. I choose to blog, he doesn’t, so it’s not fair for me to decide what he shares.

8. I personally loved planning our wedding. What do you love about wedding planning? What do you hate? Does your fiancée help with the planning?

I love all the ideas! And Pinterest is both my best friend and my worst enemy. I can easily get overwhelmed there. Scotty is a GREAT help. I run all my ideas past him and make sure he gets a say. It’s his day too, after all 🙂

9. Tell us 5 random facts about yourself that you haven’t shared here on your blog before.

* I saw the Newsboys live before they were cool…well, this time around anyway.

* I was once stuck on the side of a mountain road with Nubs overnight. It’s a great story that I’ll have to share one of these days…

* I used to smoke. I quit five years ago for the last time.

* I love panda bears. Big puffy heart love them.

* I used to have my tongue pierced.

10. Fast Ten
Favorite Color: Teal.Turquoise.Aqua. That lovely place between green and blue.
Lucky Number: 3
Time You Usually Wake Up: 7:30ish, but I don’t usually start getting up until 8:30ish
Time You Usually Go To Bed: Anytime between 10:00pm and midnight.
Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Sport: Football!
Favorite Flower: Daisies
Favorite Song: Linkin Park’s “A Place For My Head”
Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Top Gun and Dirty Dancing
Best Memory With Your Kid: The first time he said “Love you Mama”

Many thanks to Jenessa for the great swap. Like I said above, I started feeling yucky, so Ima lay low this weekend and hope this flare blows by. Y’all have a good one!

Ask Away Friday Vol. 12

Is it feeling like fall for anyone else? We’re still sporting 90+ degree days, apparently for some reason, summer is wanting to hang around a while longer here. Someone please send me a rain storm. Please.

This week has been a busy one for me. Lots of phone calls and arranging appointments for both me and my future father-in-law. Which means my brain is hanging on by a thread. Lucky for me, it’s Friday, and time for another dose of Ask Away Friday!

If you’re new to these parts, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and then we all get to know each other a little better. It’s loads of fun and I’ve met some great blogger friends.

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This week I’m swapping with Danielle from Dancing With My Daughter. Besides having the best blog name ever, Danielle shares tales of her daughter, her love, and yummy food. Be sure to pop on over and get to know her a little better, you’ll be happy you did!

Here’s what Danielle wanted to know about me…

1) I read that you’re getting married very soon (YAY CONGRATULATIONS!), how’s the preparation going? Are you excited?

I’m crazy excited! It’s really wonderful to know that I’ve found my forever someone and that we’re going to have this lovely day where we celebrate with all of our loved ones. The preparation is coming along, we’re currently looking for a venue that fits our needs but isn’t crazy expensive. Which is harder than one would think, apparently.

2) What is one thing about your fiancé that you love the most?

I love his passion for music. Scotty learned to play the guitar at a young age, and has pursued music most of his life. He plays with a humbleness, like he honestly doesn’t know how great he his. And he’s pretty great. He carries that creative passion into our relationship by supporting all of my crafting. We encourage that love of creating something within each other, and it’s one of my favorite things. And if you could see the peaceful smile that comes over him as he plays, you’d melt like I do, every single time.

3) What is your favourite thing to do with your son? Do you bond regularly?

I love movie nights with my kiddo. I love that he still wants to have a giant pajama party with popcorn and snacks, pillows and blankets, and a family movie. Those nights warm my heart every time. Because my son spends the school years with his dad, we don’t get as much bonding time as I would like. But the kiddo can text now, and so we have little conversations throughout the week, and that helps 🙂

4) What’s the best dish that you have cooked?

Well I would say my white lasagna, but my brother would say my chipotle carnitas. Scotty would pipe in and say chipotle carnitas with fry bread. Since taco night is always a favorite, I wouldn’t argue. I let a couple pounds of pork simmer in my crockpot with beef broth and seasonings all day on low. When it starts to fall apart, I shred it with a couple forks, then add it back to the cooking liquid along with a couple bottles of chipotle sauce. I let that simmer for another hour while I make fry bread. We use the fry bread as the taco shell, piling it high with our favorite toppings like lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, and lots of cheese. And now that my mouth is watering, I’m gonna have to make some this weekend!

5) Is there a book that you can read over and over again and won’t get bored of? What is it and why?

My usual go-to response here is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but I’m going to be a good girl and pick another book that’s just a single. Envy by Sandra Brown is a top pick. It has a pretty compelling story, with some romance, and a plot twist that I didn’t see coming. The intro to the story is probably one of the greatest I’ve read, especially for a lover of a good mystery. It’s an easy read, but not too easy that you don’t stay enthralled. If you have a chance, check it out.

6) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

There are many places I would like to visit in the world, but I’d only want to live in my Pacific Northwest. We have all four seasons here, there’s such lovely landscape, and the air smells like nothing I’ve ever found anywhere else. I’m surrounded by mountains, I’m a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, and we have some of the greatest food! In my perfect dreams, I move all of my loved ones here, and we spend our days exploring this gorgeous region.

7) Are you excited for fall? What are you looking forward to this cold season?

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the crisp breeze that belies the bright sun. The colorful leaves mixed with evergreens. I love bulky sweaters and leggings, pretty scarves, and tall leather boots. I love apple cider and baked goods. I love soups in my crockpot and fresh bread rising on my counter. This year I’m looking forward to continued success with my new treatment plan, and the hope that I’ll be feeling a bit more human by the holidays.

8) When you were a kid, did you dress up for Halloween? What’s your favourite costume?

I LOVED dressing up and still do! My favorite costume as a kid was when I was about four. I dressed as Rainbow Brite and my best friend at the time dressed as her horse (unicorn?). They were those vinyl costumes with the plastic masks you couldn’t see out of, but the photo still brings a smile to my face. My favorite adult costume was a few years ago when I went as Medusa. I have crazy curly/wavy/does whatever it wants hair. I wore a silver/gray toga, crazy dark makeup, and had my hair piled high on my head, with plastic snakes poking out everywhere. It was a lot of fun, but I had black circles around my eyes for days!!

9) With the Christmas holiday coming up in a few months, do you have any traditions that you do with your family?

When Scotty and I were first dating, I was working in fast food and not making much money. We agreed that instead of going broke trying to find THE BEST PRESENT EVER for each other, we would just exchange stockings. We made two rules: It had to fit in the stocking, and couldn’t be more than $20. It was so much fun, we still do it every year. Instead of expensive jewelry or electronics we’ll be making payments on forever, we find the little things that have meaning behind them. Each year it’s a great treasure hunt to buy little gifts that tell him what he means to me, that remind us of dates we’ve taken, that will make him smile or laugh out loud. I hope we’ll keep doing this forever.

10) Do you like any sports? If you do, do you get to play it often?

I love football! Love, love, LOVE it! I don’t play- even before I got sick, I was not very athletically inclined. (I’m a klutz. Ask anyone who knows me.) But I love watching football. And Scotty is getting me into watching hockey and baseball.

 

What a great swap! Each week, these girls find things about me that I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared yet. If you’d like to join in the fun, check out the Ask Away Friday Facebook Group. They’re a great bunch who will show you the ropes with all things blogging, so don’t feel intimidated or like you won’t fit in 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend. Wish me luck with my fantasy football teams, Scotty and the kiddo are killing me!

Ask Away Friday The Spoonie Edition

This short week was long in more ways than one. I had my first Remicade infusion, which went well, but still took a lot out of me. Even though Scotty works on Saturday this week, I’m so very ready for the weekend. And FOOTBALL!!

This week also found me without a partner for Ask Away Friday until yesterday when Christy from Uplifting Families came to my rescue. Christy has lived with chronic pain for a number of years, but has also recently been diagnosed with Fibro. Since we’d swapped before, we thought this time maybe we should do a #spoonie themed swap, then we could pick up some tips from each other, and share some with you!

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A spoonie asks and a spoonie answers…

1. We both live with chronic pain. What is one thing (non-medication) that can always take your mind off the pain? 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Screaming along with some of my favorite rock songs can always distract me from what’s ailing me.

2. What is the best advice someone has ever given you that has really helped you cope?

My gal Dawnie has given me some great advice over the last few years. At a particularly low point for me, she imparted this gem:

Celebrate each thing you do, each decision you make. Because it all counts. Don’t push so hard to be positive, instead be realistic. And when you’re able to do that, be really real with yourself, you’ll realize how much you really do each day.

I try to remember this every day. To be kind to myself when I fall behind on the chores, and still celebrate when all I can manage is to get out of bed and feed myself. Because it all matters.

3. When you’re having a good day, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love thrift shopping. My fiance and I will sometimes take $10 each and putter around local second hand stores to see what treasures we can find. Sometimes we find nothing. Other times we find fabric for one of my projects, or a piece of sports memorabilia for Scotty’s collection. Even if we don’t find anything, it’s nice to just walk around exploring.

4. What are 5 must have items you would recommend to fellow spoonies?

*Hot/Cold compresses. Preferably ones that can be used either way, and used many times. Homemade rice or bean bags are great.

*A stereo, mp3 player, or some sort of music playing device. And headphones so you can listen when everyone else is asleep and pain has you counting sheep.

*Comfort food. I always try to keep a few of my favorite treats around for the rough days. Because sometimes you just really need a bite of chocolate.

*Fuzzy socks or slippers WITH NON SKID SOLES. My feet are almost always cold, unless it’s 90+ degrees outside. And even then, sometimes. Loose fitting fuzzy socks warm my feet without being too constricting. But please, please, PLEASE make sure they’re “no-slip.” No need to have a nasty fall just because you wanted toasty toes.

*Something to cuddle. Whether it’s a kiddo, a spouse, a pet, a stuffed animal, or all of the above, always have something (or someone) to hug. You’d be surprised how much it helps.

5. What new activity or hobby have you picked up since you became a spoonie?

Honestly? Napping LOL. Before I got sick, I rarely slept during the day, I just could never shut my brain off. Now I love naps. If things work out right, I take one every afternoon. Sometimes I also sneak one in before lunch. And on really rough days, I take another right before dinner.

6. I have always been told that you are own best advocate for your health. Have you ever had to push your doctor to figure out what is wrong or to test a procedure or medication?

I’m blessed that my current team of doctors is pretty stellar. They all listen to me and my concerns, and we make decisions together. This hasn’t always been the case, and I’ve had to look for a second opinion or change doctors. Because we ARE our own best advocates, and we should NEVER be uncomfortable with our health decisions.

7. My dogs are a huge blessing, do you feel having pets helps you cope with your chronic illness?

Without a doubt, I know my life is better with my doggy. With recent flares and medication changes, Todd has proven that he was meant to be my companion. He curls up with me and licks my hand when he knows I’m hurting. If I stay in bed, he spends the day laying next to me. When I’m stressed or anxious, he does this cute floppy thing on the floor until I rub his belly. Which, of course, makes me smile and calms my mind.

8. Do you ever feel isolated since you stopped working?

Oh boy. Some days I swear if I have to stare at these four walls any longer, I’ll scream. My social life has gone WAY down, so yeah, there are moments where I feel really isolated. I’m blessed to have such a great online community of friends and family who remind me that I’m not alone, though, and that helps.

9. Do you feel your pain restricts you from doing things you enjoy?

Absolutely. Most days I try not to think about the things I can’t do anymore, because it kinda makes me a little crazy. I try to focus on the things I can still do, like my writing. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss cross-stitching.

10. Do you feel that support groups are a great place to connect with other spoonies and find others who share a similar journey?

I do! Support groups and online communities can be great! There are many out there, so find the one(s) that’s right for you. They can be good resources for sharing tips and information on treatments, as well as a place to find a sympathetic ear for those really yucky days.

 

Thanks Christy for another great swap!

Do you have any tips for spoonies you’d add to this? Or maybe you have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave a comment and let me know! And if you’d like to join in on the Ask Away Friday fun, check out their Facebook group to get started. It’s a great bunch of bloggers who are more than happy to show you the ropes 🙂

Now…ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!?!?!?!