Category Archives: Fluff

A Year In Review 2014

After spending New Year’s Eve playing cards and games with my fiance and one of our good friends while our dogs played and hid from the fireworks, I spent a chunk of New Year’s Day in the ER with some odd symptoms. Muscle tremors, shooting pains, and random numbness throughout my left arm/elbow/hand. Turns out I’m fighting a harder RA flare than I knew, and this was just another manifestation of that. They fitted me with a sling to keep the arm elevated and told me to go home, take my pain meds and…REST.

Anyone else hate being told to rest all the time? No? Just me?

Anywho, this morning I was getting caught up on blogging and showing some of my blogger peeps some love, and I found this on Tamara’s site. And I thought, “Yes, I need to do this!” So here you go, loves, my 2014 in review, and some hopes for 2015.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I had an article published. 

Got our adorable doggy, the first pet Scotty and I’ve had together.

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I started Remicade infusions for RA treatment. I’ve never had any sort of infusion before.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did, and I will! For 2015, I want to focus on living better. I want to spread kindness and joy and do my part to make the world a better place.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few of my dear friends blessed us with babies this year. Rebecca, Crys, and Fallah all had adorable bundles of joy ❤

Did anyone close to you die?

Not anyone I know personally, but the loss of Robin Williams touched me deeply. I grew up with him, and it breaks my heart to know the world is missing his genius.

What countries did you visit?

Sadly, none. We’re hoping to visit Canada later this year.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A blender. A yard for our doggy to run and play.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

I don’t have a specific date, just little snippets throughout the year that make me smile. The look of joy on my fiance’s face as he played his music again. My son and fiance exploring the space museum together.

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My doggy running through the tall grass at the dog park. Game nights with my fiance. Nights at Denny’s with Kristen and Seth. Civil War on the big screen. Evenings with Cathy.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Following my dream of being a writer. It involved more than just sharing my words here with you. I put myself out there more and faced my fear of rejection. I hope to continue this in 2015 and maybe finally finish a book.

What was your biggest failure?

This question really stumped me. I think as long as you continue to learn from your mistakes, nothing is a failure. As for me, I’m still learning.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Still rocking the battle against my autoimmune disorders. I was also diagnosed with TMJ, and am awaiting an appointment with a oral maxi-facial specialist to determine our treatment plan.  I also had a bout with chemical poisoning. Joy.

What was the best thing you bought?

I honestly can’t think of anything right now. Does the cheesy popcorn I’m calling my lunch count?

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My fiance, who continues to be by side and hold my hand as I walk this path.

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Where did most of your money go?

Bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Time with my son.

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Planning our wedding. Making a new friend. A visit from Kristen and Seth.

What song will always remind you of 2014?

Foo Fighters Something From Nothing

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?  Happier
Thinner or fatter?  Thinner, though I still have a ways to go.
Richer or poorer?  About the same, I guess. Scotty did get a raise, but those bills keep coming and they’ve just increased our rent, so…

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Living. Chasing dreams. Crafting. Learning new things.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Hurting. Being stressed and anxious.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

I fall in love with my fiance every day. I fell in love with our doggy when we first met him and knew he needed to come live with us.

How many one-night stands?

None. Or 365 with the same man, however you want to look at it.

Who were your best friends?

All of my friends are best. Kristen and Seth. Nolan and Courtney. All my girls, the sisters of my heart. Kerry. Cathy ❤

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?

I continued to share my stories. The crew helped me launch the Spoons 4 Spoonies website so we can continue to offer support to those battling chronic illness.

What were your favorite TV programs?

Once Upon A Time. Just about anything true crime related. Sonic Highways.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I try not to hate anyone, it’s so bad for your own well-being. But there are a few people I wouldn’t mind never seeing or hearing about again.

What was the best book you read in 2014?

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon, the latest book in the Outlander series.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sonic Highways by the Foo Fighters. I loved getting to watch how each song came together on their HBO series, and then feel in love with their songs. I’ve always been a FF fan, but this made me love them more and in a new way.

What did you want and get?

A lap desk. A mellow and laid back Thanksgiving holiday. A new phone with a better camera (Thank goodness for Verizon’s free phone offer!). Time with my sisters.

What did you want but did NOT get?

Time ALONE with my sisters. A money tree. A new body.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Uh… I can’t remember seeing many movies this year… Sad story.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 and spent the day with my son and my fiance and some of our dear friends. We went bowling, which was something I didn’t think I could do with my RA hands, but I did it and it was awesome! We also had pizza from my favorite place, and cupcakes, which makes everything awesome.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less stress.

What kept you sane?

My writing. Therapy. My fiance. Our dog. All of our lovely friends who popped in to keep me trucking along ❤

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Sam Heughan, the guy who plays Jamie Fraser in the TV version of Outlander.

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Colin O’Donoghue aka Captain Hook

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What political issue stirred you the most?

I was in an uproar over a few things, others just broke my heart. I’ll say this: I stand for equality for all, and for a safer world for our children.

Who did you miss?

My grandmother. My brother. Misty. My daughter. I always miss my son when he’s not here with us. All of my friends who live near and far, whom I never get to see often enough.

Who was the best new person you met this year?

Kerry! She’s become a dear friend and a lovely support system. Also, with whom else can I sit and reminisce about the 80s?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Sometimes you have to just let things go. Accept that you need to put yourself first, and set boundaries, even if the things you have to let go are people you love. You can’t help others at the detriment of yourself.

Quote that sums up your year:

 

Thank you all for following along this past year, and for joining me for this little walk down memory lane. Here’s wishing 2015 is full of all the best for all of us! Happy New Year!

One Lovely Blog Award

Yesterday the lovely Dorne over at Putting life into words was sweet enough to pass along to me the One Lovely Blog Award.

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I always like meeting new bloggers, and to have them pass along a blogger award is a great treat. The rules of this award say that I must:

1. Thank the person who nominated me.

2. Add the logo to your post.

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate seven other bloggers you admire, and let them know on their sites.

So first up, many thanks to Dorne for nominating me. She never fails to stop by and leave a kind comment on my posts, which is wonderfully supportive and greatly appreciated by me.

Now, because of Ask Away Friday, I’m not sure if there are many facts about me I haven’t shared yet. So if y’all know any of these already, just let it slide this one time, okay?

*The song No Rain by Blind Melon has always spoken to me. It is my song. I read books to escape, I love the sound of rain, it is me. (My doggy, however, does NOT love the rain. Clearly, he’s not from the PACNW.)

*If my daughter had lived, I’d have a 5 year old princess right now. There are still nights I dream of her, and wake wishing I could spend the day playing with her.

*I was a picky eater long before IC and IBS caused me to be careful of what I eat.

*I will burst into tears anytime I see video of soldiers coming home. Every.Single.Time.

*If I had more money, I wouldn’t spend it on myself. I’m horrible with a budget, but most of what I spend is on gifts for others. I love showering love on those I care about.

*I’m a firm believer that what’s on the inside is more attractive than the outside. I find myself more attracted to personalities and certain quirks more than any physical type.

*I never thought I would be an advocate. I always dreamed of being a writer, but I thought it would be fiction. I never imagined my life would take these turns, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I take great pride in raising my voice for all of us.

And now to pass the award along to seven bloggers whom I adore.

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera because her photos make me smile and her words speak to my heart.

Dawnie from The Dawnie Project because I’d like to see what seven things I don’t know about her. Because she’s one of the few people I can speak openly to.

Tracie from From Tracie because she is the epitome of lovely and the sister I never had growing up, but have now in her. Because she gets me like most don’t.

Joules from Wonderishmama because her blog is everything I know to be lovely about her, and I want to learn more.

Echo from The Domain Of The Mad Mommy because I know there’s things about her I don’t know…yet. Also because I feel like she needs a smile this week.

Christy from Uplifting Families because her blog is full of lovely advice and tips for mothers and families and that’s something that should be celebrated.

Andrea from Good Girl Gone Redneck because she definitely needs a smile this week. And because of her lovely forethought, I’ve met even more  bloggers who are all supporting each other in this wonderful writing group.

Loving Thy Blogger Neighbor

I have been a horrible person lately and really slacking not only on my blogging, but also my reading/commenting on the blogs I follow.

So imagine my surprise this morning when I see Jenn from Triple Z Mom, Not Supermom has nominated me for a spiffy award. Also imagine my shame and embarrassment at being such a slacker. Anyhow, the warm fuzzy feel-goods outweighed my self-blame and I avowed to not only pass on her shiny award, but to also spend a chunk of today making sure all my peeps got some comment love.

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This sparkly award is for blogs that are new or maybe have a small number of followers. The rules say I must answer Jenn’s 11 questions, give 11 random facts about myself, and then come up with 11 questions for the bloggers I’d like to nominate. Without further rambling, here you be:

My Answers
1. How long have you been blogging and why did you get started?
I first started blogging roughly four years ago. This is my third attempt at blogging and I’ve been at it for nearly two years. I started this blog to share my story of life with chronic illness.
2. If you could have a day to yourself, what would you do?
I have many days to myself, it’s the nature of being a hermit. However, if I had a day with ALL THE ENERGY (and all the monies), I would love to make gift baskets for all my loves. Gift baskets make me crazy happy.
3. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
Oh, I’ve been known to have a Hoarders marathon via Netflix. 
4. What is your goal for your blog?
My goal is to shed some light on all aspects of living with chronic illness, as well as provide some hope for others out there like me. If one person can feel less alone because of my words, then I have served a greater purpose.
5. Who was your first celebrity crush?
My very first was Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block, though I would have taken any of them. I think I was maybe eight.
6. Who is your favorite author?
Diana Gabaldon has long held this coveted spot in my heart.
7. Where have you lived?
Mostly all over Oregon, though I’ve also lived in Minnesota, California, and Germany.  (I was a military brat.)
8. Gold or silver?
I prefer white gold or silver. I think yellow gold is great for other people, but I just don’t like how it looks on me.
9. What’s your favorite thing to drink?
Sweet tea. I think some of my genes are secretly Southern.
10. The beach or the mountains?
I’m fortunate to live in Oregon and I can have both. So there. 
11. What’s your favorite vegetable?
That’s a tough one. I love broccoli and its versatility, but I have a soft spot for asparagus and artichokes.

My Random Facts

1. I have 12 brothers and sisters that are actually related to me either by blood or marriage.
2. I love fast and fierce. I think this can scare away new people, but I can’t change it.
3. I adore giving gifts to people.
4. I link songs to movies they’ve been featured in, especially movies I love. So where most people hear a song and ask, “Who sings this?” I demand, “Quick! Name the movie!”
5. I am a survivor of both Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. I am passionate about sharing my story and raising awareness for women in danger everywhere.
6. I have a crush on Johnny Depp, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, and Colin O’Donoghue from Once Upon A Time.
7. I have more pairs of slippers than I have pairs of shoes.
8. Though I don’t consider myself an Extreme Couponer, I do get a HUGE thrill out of saving money.
9. I’m a firm believer that everyone would benefit from therapy.
10. I’m currently writing a cookbook.
11. I can’t remember the last time I had a drink for St. Patty’s Day. I’ve been on Prednisone each of the last three years, including today. And Prednisone and alcohol are a no-no.

My Nominations

I wanted to nominate all of my peeps, but Jenn and I love some of the same peeps. So make sure to click through to her blog to see all of the links and send her some love. Here are a couple more to check out:

Jamee at A New Kind Of Normal
Joules at lucidlotuslife

My Questions

1. How long have you been writing (whether it’s blogging or not)?
2. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
3. What is your favorite gift you’ve ever received?
4. What is the best gift you’ve ever given?
5. What is your favorite book?
6. If you could only eat one type of cuisine forever (with no health repercussions), what would it be?
7. What do you want your legacy to be?
8. What is your favorite charity or non-profit organization?
9. What is your favorite color?
10. How did you and I cross paths?
11. What is your favorite song from the 80’s or 90’s?

The Rules:

1.Thank the blog that presented you this award and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the questions asked by your nominator, give 11 random facts about yourself. List 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate several blogs that you feel need the recognition that have fewer than 1000 followers. Contact the blogger to let them know they have been selected by email, commenting on a post, Facebook, etc.
4. Upload the Leibster Award image to your blog.

Many thanks Jenn for this awesome honor! I appreciate the shout out and if you’re feeling feisty, I wouldn’t mind seeing your answers to some of my questions 😉

Fluffy Friday

I have therapy today, then the appointment with my new rheumy on Monday, and I haven’t been sleeping well. This all combines to make for a pretty scattered brain. So here’s some fluff to hold you over until my brain is a little more organized.

 

Do you have a garden shed in your backyard? 
We don’t have a backyard, so no.

Who is the tallest person you know and how tall are they? 
My uncle is 6’9″ or so. Ginormous. And it would appear my son has inherited those genes. Oy.

What are you listening to? 
Music on my iPhone via my spiffy little bluetooth speaker. Right now? Cryin by Aerosmith

What year did you graduate? 
Class of 2000. We thought we were so damn special.

Are you obsessed with anything? 
Chocolate. Music.

Do you prefer waffles or pancakes? 
Waffles.

Do you prefer non-diet or diet soda? 
Regular. I can’t have the fake sugar that’s in diet soda.

Do you like seafood? 
I love shrimp and crab. I think lobster is okay but over-rated. I’m super picky about fish, I don’t want it to taste fishy. I don’t do most forms of salmon or tuna at all.

Are you craving anything right now? 
Sleep.

Do you dress appropriately for your age? 
Are jammies appropriate for any age?

Can you speak any other languages? 
A smattering of German and Spanish.

How long is your hair? 
Right around shoulder length.

Do you like your neighbors? 
The little old couple next door are sweet and adorable. The people upstairs stress me out, they fight A LOT and it scares me.

Has a bird ever flown into your window?
I don’t think so. One did fly into the grill of our Explorer a few years ago. Broke my heart that he used me as his instrument of death. I’m still traumatized.

What was your first pets name? 
My grandma used to say I took over her dog when I was a toddler. His name was Kuja-baby. (Don’t ask, I don’t think I named him.)

What was your third grade teachers name? 
I couldn’t tell you.

What do you remember most when you were 10? 
I turned 10 right after we moved back to the States from Europe. I’m pretty sure we had a family party at the local pizza place and I played arcade games with my cousins.

Who was your favorite teacher in high school? 
Mrs. Story. She made being super smart not such a bad thing.

Where do you see yourself in a year? 
I’ll be in full on freak-out mode over the upcoming wedding.

Do you believe in constructive criticism? 
Of course.

Are you content just blending in with the crowd? 
Sometimes.

What makes you different from everybody else? 
I’m a spoonie.

Do you try to see the good in people? 
I try. Some people make it really hard, though.

What will you miss the most about being young? 
Being well. Having a body that didn’t attack itself.

Do you think before you speak? 
Oh lordy. I try. It doesn’t always work out that way.

A passion of yours? 
Singing.

Are you nice to people? Seriously? 
I like to think I am. But I do have my moments.

Have you ever felt seriously violated? 
Yes. It’s not a feeling I would wish on my worst enemy.

Do you believe in horoscopes? 
I think like everything, there’s a layer of truth and a lot of layers of garbage.

Are you a “no regrets” type of person? 
I try to be. I honestly believe that everything in my life has happened for a reason, it’s how I cope with the obstacles. I can’t have regrets about those things because they all had a part in where and who I am today.

Are you afraid to be yourself around anyone? 
I certainly censor myself around others when I first meet them.

Do you believe in equal rights between men and women? 
Of course. Do I  believe we have access to those equal rights? Not so much.

Is it easy for you to apologize? 
Depends on the situation. I have gotten better about it in the last few years, though.

Do you have a short attention span? 
Squirrel!

What time did you wake up this morning. Why? 
830ish. Honestly? My bladder woke me up. As per usual.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? 
Check my phone/the time. Hurry to the bathroom. Snuggle back under the blankets and wait for my body to wake up a bit more.

 

If any of you are so inclined, I could use your prayers, good juju, healing vibes, etc over the weekend. I’m really nervous for Monday’s appointment, and I’m hinging a lot of hope upon it. I need some answers almost as desperately as I need some relief. Thank you in advance.

Fluffy Truthful Tuesday

I’m feeling more than slightly overwhelmed today, so here’s some fluff to help you get a peek at me. I got the survey here.

1. When you wash your hands, do you use the cold or hot tap (faucet)?

I turn on the hot water, but sometimes it doesn’t warm up.

2. If you had to be straight/gay for a day (whichever you’re currently not), what celebrity would you most like to take on a date?

Kirsten Vangsness from Criminal Minds. I adore her!

3. What is the biggest injury you’ve ever sustained and how did you do it?

Oh goodness, I have so many! Probably my left knee. I was bitten by our family dog when I was 11 or 12. It didn’t heal well and my parents opted not to do the recommended skin graft. So I’m missing half of the knee.

4. What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten?

I’m not very adventurous with foods.

5. What is the most unique animal you’ve ever touched?

Hrms. A ferret, I think. I’m not a fan.

6. What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever bought for someone? How much did it cost and who was it for?

I bought a gun cabinet for my then husband. It was around $300.

7. Which 3 countries would you LEAST like to live in and why?

Anywhere that demeans and diminishes the value of a woman. Because I believe in equality. And I am too strong-willed to allow the government and men put me down.

8. If you could make just ONE change to this world, what would it be and why?

I would like the world to be kinder, though I don’t know if that could be accomplished with just one change. Why? Because if we lived in a kinder world, a lot of hardships could be erased.

9. If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in 3 additional languages, which would you choose?

German, Spanish, Italian

10. Which would you rather out of these 3 options? A: Be good looking and extremely intelligent but so poor you live on the streets. B: Be extremely intelligent and a millionaire but what society classes as ugly. Or C: Be good looking and a millionaire but extremely academically challenged? Why?

B. Because intelligence should never be traded for anything and with money, I could make myself more beautiful, if I chose to.

11. What are the top 10 movies to make you cry? (Or at least make you sad.)

Steel Magnolias, Taking Chance, A Walk To Remember, Stepmom, My Girl, Crash, Radio, The Guardian, Apollo 13, Philadelphia

12. What’s the scariest nightmare you’ve ever had? Describe it in detail.

I dreamt my best friend/adopted brother had died. It terrified me.

13. Would you rather raise 25 children or have the chance of ever having children taken away? Why?

I would always choose children. I’ve had a baby taken from me, and I have dear friends who’ve battled with infertility. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

14. Would you rather go on a relaxing beach type holiday to the Caribbean, a cultural holiday to Japan or an adventure packed holiday to South Africa?

I’ll take a relaxing beach any day.

15. If you went to a desert island for just 6 months but could only take one album with you, what would you take?

Any Linkin Park album. I can listen to them on repeat forever.

16. Put these in order of your favorite movie genre to least: Horror, action, thriller, adventure, superhero, romance, drama, comedy, musical, and dance.

Comedy, romance, superhero, adventure, musical, action, drama, thriller, dance, horror

17. If you had to lose one of the 5 senses, which would you choose and why?

Probably my sense of smell. I know it would also diminish my sense of taste, but I’m already partially deaf and I wouldn’t want to lose any more of my hearing. Nor would I want to be blind or unable to feel.

18. What have been the top 5 most brilliant days of this last year? Describe them in as much or as little detail as you like.

When my fiance proposed to me. 4th of July with my son. Getting to visit my family for the holidays. Getting to meet Dawnie. Seth and Kristen’s wedding.

19. What do you believe we as human beings take most for granted in this world?

Life. We’re all so sure tomorrow is a guarantee, we squander our todays.

20. How many concerts have you been to in your life and which was your favorite? If you’ve not been to one, who would you most like to see?

Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution was by far my favorite. And depending on what you classify as a concert, I’ve seen about a dozen.

If you’re feeling fluffy, why don’t you fill in your answers and link up in the comments? It’ll be fun!