Friday, January 29, 2010

Is Life Passing You By?

Yesterday was kind of a weird day for me.  I occasionally have days where I just CAN'T STAND driving (and living) in Arizona.  Nothing in particular has to happen in order for me to feel this way.  It's generally a combination of minor things that turn me into a big freakin' baby who calls John almost in tears out of frustration.

Part of my problem yesterday was that I am so tired of driving in rush hour traffic 4 days every week.  I don't want to do it but I have to.  I really just want to stay home with O and with a face like this, who wouldn't?
(She got to lick a beater while I was baking a cake - I think she may be a chocoholic like her mom!)

Anyway, I got listening to the new George Strait CD and there is a song that talks about that old line that says life isn't about the breathe you take but the moments that take your breathe away and it really got me thinking about what I am doing now and how I/we are living.  I feel like I'm working just to get by and in a way that's kind of true.  I have to work right now.  There really isn't any other option, even though I've heard it said that you can always find a way to stay home if you really want too.  Sure, I could stay home if we wanted to be in debt for the rest of our lives and I don't want to live with that stress.  I want to be able to give my kids what they need and what they want.  But I feel like I'm missing so much with Olivia - I didn't see her first steps for example (there are those out there who will say "she'll take more" - but not first ones) - and I'm sacrificing this early developmental time of her life to get ahead.  Sure, it's great that she is getting some great exposure to other kids and the socialization skills that she will need in the future but that doesn't make me feel a whole lot better.  At the same time I am totally conflicted because I want to stay home but part of me doesn't think I could do it full-time.  I think I'd like to have the opportunity to work part-time or be able to volunteer somewhere just so I can get out of the house and have my own time occasionally.

Then I got this in my e-mail box today:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin.  It was a cold January morning and he played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.  A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in without stopping.  A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pulled hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the time the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.  Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.00 each.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

It kind of sums up how I was feeling yesterday.  What am I missing?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prostate Update

[ETA (1/28/10): Dad's catheter was removed on Monday and he is doing great.  Having some "issues", if you will, but it is all to be expected (you women who have had babies will probably know what I'm talking about).]

My dad had his prostate surgery about 9 days ago and is doing awesome!  I talked to him the several hours after the surgery and he sounded like he hadn't been through a major procedure at all.  I was surprised to say the least, but also very glad.  He didn't really have to use many pain meds and with the exception of a catheter he didn't/hasn't had any bad side effects other than being a little sore and having 6 new holes in his body.  He sent out an e-mail last Thursday:

Dear Family and Friends,

Just a quick note to let everyone know that everything went very well with the surgery I had on Monday.  The robot was on and so was the surgeon! 

I'm feeling remarkably well, with soreness but very little pain; to be expected with six holes in me.  The biggest pain is the catheter and associated gear that goes with it!  Hopefully that will be gone when I see the surgeon for a follow-up on Monday to remove the staples from the incisions.  I spent Monday night in the hospital and came home Tuesday afternoon.  I can sleep a lot, do light exercise (walking, stairs) but no lifting for a while.  Some would say not much of a change in my lifestyle!

After all the infection that I had pre-op, I'm hopeful that post-op will go much smoother, and it seems to be so.  I'm very pleased with the whole experience from the doctors to the hospital and nursing staff; even the food was very good!

Patti has been a real blessing for me and is my very favorite nurse!!  Can't thank her enough!

Thank all of you for your positive thoughts, advice, support and prayers.  They were a great help throughout the whole process.

We'll keep you up-dated on any further developments.



So there you go. He had his 64th birthday on Sunday and while he didn't go out he was able to have his favorite pizza for dinner.  My sister and brother drove out from Austin on Saturday to surprise him and I know he was glad to have them there.  My Aunt sent him his favorite chocolate chip cookies that she makes so I have no doubt that he was having a good day.

I haven't talked to them since his birthday but he was supposed to have his catheter removed on Monday and hopefully be free of infection (he has fought some sort of infection since his very first biopsy and the doc did say that there was still some inflammation in there but not too bad).

Thank goodness for annual exams!  Make sure you all, and the people you love, are getting the ones you need!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Erin's Bachelorette Party - "Adult Content" warning!!!!

Alright, it's been a little over a week since Erin's bachelorette party and I am finally getting around to posting the pictures from the night we went out with all of her friends.  We had a really great time at dinner at Wazee Supper Club and then we headed over to Cowboy Lounge for some more drinks and dancing.

Jenn and I picked up lots of "decorations" for the evening.  Everyone in attendance got a necklace, some rings, a "special" straw, and a great CD that Jenn put together.  Erin wore a "Bachelorette" sash, a white boa, special necklaces we got for everyone, and a penis shaped shot glass. 

Her cake will speak for itself, as will the individual cupcakes everyone else enjoyed.

For some awesome cakes check out Le Bakery Sensual in Denver.  They specialize in erotic cakes but will make almost anything you want.  The cakes taste good and the people at the bakery are super nice!

Most of Erin's very best friends were able to make it and it was so good to see everyone.  Thank you to all of you who made it!

And here are some more candids.

Looks like Kara and Steph had some moves!
Yes, we were drinking 24 oz. PBRs.  My dad will be so proud.

Erin and I stayed in Denver until Monday.  We figured we might need a day to recover and it was nice to relax on Sunday and watch the Golden Globes with Jenn and Cameron.

Next step in the wedding celebration is Erin's shower in Austin at the end of February!  It's going to be a lot of fun with some great food!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Need To Confess!

I am not having a good food day and I figured a confession was in order so that I could accept that I've had a bad day and move on and do better tomorrow.

I haven't been to a Weight Watchers meeting since Christmas.  I am going to start going again this week.  I am still feeling pretty good about my weight though because the size 8's that I am back in are still fitting.  So while I know I've put a little back on (I don't know how I couldn't have) I don't think I've put on that much.  (I think the daily walk that I do on my lunch break at work has saved me.)

Anyway, all I've wanted to do this week is eat.  Most of the time I can control myself, but today it wasn't happening.  I don't know what the deal is.  Maybe it's just hormones or whatever since I'm supposed to get my period next week (TMI, but whatever).  Today I have been to the vending machines twice - something I NEVER do.  I got a honey bun (WTF?) this morning and a Kit Kat and Orange Crush (not diet - I can't remember the last time I drank a soda that wasn't diet) this afternoon.  Throw a trip to a drive-thru Mexican food joint for lunch and I've had an awesome day.

Normally I would just totally give up on any semblance of a diet after this sort of day.  That was the old Becky.  The new Becky is going to suck it up, admit I had a bad day, and get back in gear tomorrow.  I've got to!  I have a wedding to be in in April and I don't want to ruin my sister's pictures the way I ruined my own.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I will be posting some pictures from the bachelorette party weekend.  It was a ton of fun!  Everyone survived to tell stories of the night.  =)  Unfortunately, now I am back to the grind at work.  Next step in the wedding celebration is the bridal shower in Austin at the end of February!

Also, my dad had his prostate cancer surgery on Monday and came out of it with flying colors.  He was able to go home yesterday and it resting comfortably there (with the exception that he still has a catheter - yuck!).  He hasn't had to use any pain meds which is a surprise but he is pretty sore and my mom says that he walks around like an old man.  The doctor was very pleased with the way the surgery went - no surprises or anything, pretty routine (if a surgery can be called routine) - but he did say they won't know for a little while if there was any nerve damage but he doesn't expect there to be.

Check back soon for pictures!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Until I Return . . .

Just some pictures to enjoy until I return from Denver with more pictures - this time from Erin's bachelorette party!

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Handbook

I posted this on my other blog, Moms Questions, so some of you may have already seen it.  I got it from Sara (thanks 22!) and think it is a great thing to read and remind yourself of every once in a while.


1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11.    Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22..    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn..  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy. 

I like to think that I am doing many of these right now, but there are so many that I need to work on.  I do a lot of the physical health items, but the spiritual ones I am certainly lacking in, and I know that may be a big part of why, at times, I feel that something is missing in my life.  I love the society and life ones as well.  It can be so difficult to remain positive and happy when dealing with so many people that are ill-natured or mean.  I just try to remember that I don't want to live like that.  I want to have fun and enjoy every day.  I don't want to live being angry all the time.  I just don't understand how some people can.  How sad to live a life like that.

For me it is all about choosing what I want each day to be like.  I can choose to be in a bad mood, or I can choose to be in a good one.  I generally choose to be in a good one, and I am so much better for it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

18 Month Check-Up

O is now, as of yesterday, officially 19 months old.  It's crazy to me to think that she is closer to 2 than to 1.  Scary!

She had her 18 month appointment back in the middle of December and she is doing really well.  She is 33 1/4 inches tall (88th percentile) and is 28 lbs. 5.5 oz (92nd percentile) so she is finally growing in to her weight and is leveling off on the charts.

She is still a super crazy person.  She loves the outdoors and the Christmas lights that were up all over our neighborhood are her new favorite thing.  At least she is accepting the fact that all the decorations are coming (or have already come) down.  She does know how to open doors and we will hear her going in to the kitchen, open the pantry and come out with one of her food items.  Maybe we should move them to a higher shelf!  This is where we end up when that happens.  At least she knows she has to sit down to eat.

One of her favorite things to do is play hide and seek with us by putting a blanket or lovie or something over her head. Of course, J and I oblige and act like we don't know where she is.  The game started out that way but turned into Livighost and Daddyghost trying to scare Mommy.

O's hair is pretty unruly and when she sleeps she sleeps hard.  The combination of those two traits result in some wonderful bedhead (although the pictures don't ever do it the justice it deserves).

 And then finally, I just really like this picture.  I love the mischievous hint of a smile that O has in it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas/New Year's Eve

Since I am so far behind I am going to combine these two entries, but first I just want to say welcome to Abigail Noel!  My cousin Jason, and his wife Noel, had their second daughter on December 27.  We are so happy for you guys and can't wait to meet her!

Christmas was very nice with the exception of both John and I being sick.  On Christmas Eve we attempted to go to Christmas Mass and didn't quite make it through.  It didn't help that O had only had an hour nap that day.  So we went out for a steak dinner, which has become a tradition for us.  We ordered O some chicken fingers but she preferred dipping her celery and lemon slices (yes, that's right, lemon slices - she will eat them whole) into the cucumber dip meant for our appetizer.

Her dress was so cute.  It's from my Aunt Sandra and Uncle Rich.  I added the black shirt, tights and adorable red shoes.  She looked really cute, even if she wasn't that interested in having her picture taken.

J and I survived our issues and were able to give O a really good Christmas day with lots of gifts and fun.  But we did push off our Christmas "dinner" until the next day because neither of us felt like eating anything.
Here is our before:

And here is our after:

O got some awesome gifts.  Thank you everyone!  One of her favorites came from Santa and is a big lion that she can ride on.  It doesn't move or anything but she loves it and gives it hugs all the time.  Sometimes she'll stop as she runs by to give it one.  So cute.

She also loves the chair that my parents got her and the tent and tunnel that J and I got for her (as does the cat).

J was a good sport when O recruited him to help "babysit".  (I think those dolls are creepy but O loves them.)

New Year's was uneventful for us.  We went to the Coyotes' game and then came home and watched Bruno (awful) and The Hangover (awesome!).  J and I did manage to stay up until midnight this year but were in bed shortly thereafter.  Here is O at the hockey game.  She wasn't a huge fan of the hat.


I've read a lot of places where people think that 2009 was a crappy year and I'm not going to disagree.  Even John made a comment that it sucked.  We have been very lucky in that the economic downturn and lay-offs haven't hit us though we have had our share of scares when it came to that.  Here's hoping that 2010 is much better than 2009!