Friday, April 30, 2010

The Book Challenge: April Recap

First of all, I would like to thank all of you that expressed your good wishes regarding my last post. I appreciate every single one of those thoughts and virtual hugs and I appreicate having every single one of you in my life. A twinge of sadness still hits me at the most random moments, but I am starting to feel much better and more like myself again.

In light of everything that happened last weekend, I remembered one of the reasons I love to read: It's an escape. Whether it's a different time, a different place, or a different emotional landscape that you're seeking, a book can take you there. Most of what I ended up reading this month was lighthearted, which turned out to be exactly what I needed.

21. The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne -- Adopted daughter of owners of a finishing school in London tried to revitalize the family business by updating the curriculum to reflect what millenial women really need to know. Much of her motivation stems from hoping to find out the identity of her birth mom & of course there are love interests along the way.

22. I Will Always Love You by Cecily Von Ziegesar -- Gossip Girl goes off to college and repeats a cycle of incestuous dating between S, B, V, C, D, N & Little J for the next four years. Seriously. That is all there is to this book.

23. Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus -- Hmm. The sequel to The Nanny Diaries. I started off this book with high hopes and for a short time those hopes were fulfilled. But the more I read, the more I got frustrated with the protagonist. She seemed to have not grown up at all during the past ten years. As someone roughly the same age as her, I just could not buy it at all. She was ridiculous in her inability to have a grown-up conversation with anyone, including her husband. It got to be very annoying.

24. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella -- I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this novel because I disliked the two main characters so strongly at the start. It did get better, sort of, but was still "meh" overall.

25. Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad -- Book number two in the L.A. Candy series, which was inspired by L.C.'s stint on The Hills. This book is as fluffy and lightweight as cotton candy. I read most of it while watching a marathon of The Hills. I probably should never have admitted that.

26. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot -- I picked up this book for the sole purpose of getting it signed by Meg Cabot. You can read more details about the signing on Forever Young, but I just have to say that Meg Cabot is so awesome & funny. I would love to hang out with her at a happy hour. This book was so funny at times that I actually chuckled out loud and slapped my knee while reading it. The story was told through a collection of e-mails, journal entries, voice mail messages & photos. I thought it would be off-putting, but it wasn't at all. I really enjoyed reading this one and plan on trying some of the recipes from it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Over Before It Ever Began

The last two days have been an emotional rollercoaster.

It all started Friday afternoon. I came home early from work, feeling sick with a cold. Knowing that my period was 7 days late, I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up a pregnancy test. I didn't think my usual cold remedy of Contac washed down with a glass of wine would be a good idea if I happened to be pregnant. So my responsible self peed on a stick, waited three minutes and then got the shock of my life. The little digital screen said "pregnant." We had literally just started trying to conceive; I never thought it could happen so quickly, especially since I get closer to reaching "advanced maternal age" with each passing month. As the shock and resulting shakiness wore off during the next few hours, I started poking around all sorts of baby websites: maternity clothes, nursery decor, due date predictors, etc. I even made a little bandana for Jack to wear, announcing that he was going to be a big brother, as my way of telling Eddie. Yeah, I'm a ridiculous, over-the-top dog owner. Eddie came home, found out the news and started looking around our spare room, figuring out how to turn it into a nursery.

The next morning, still in a little bit of disbelief I tested again. And the screen came up with a "not pregnant." Since there was one more test in the box, I had a big cup of tea and tested again. Another "not pregnant." By that point I had been poking around the internet enough to know that things were not looking good. Sometimes Google is not your friend. I called Kaiser's nurse advice line. The nurse agreed with me that the conflicting results were "perplexing" (no shit Sherlock), but that I could come in for a blood draw over the weekend if I wanted to be sure. If not, I should just keep an eye out for any sharp pains, heavy bleeding or difficulty breathing. While I was getting ready to head out to the hospital, I realized there wasn't much point anymore. There were clear signs of what looked like the start of a period.

Miscarriage is such a rough sounding word. A chemical pregnancy sounds more benign, but is really just a very early version of the same thing.

So I was pretty sad yesterday. I'm still feeling a little sad today. Although the stats say that this happens quite often and that there are numerous causes, I still can't help but feel some guilt, as if I did something wrong. Maybe it was because I drank way more than usual last weekend on a girls' weekend? Or took advil a couple times during the week? Or because I'm fat? Or because of this nasty cold I came down with? Or maybe it was a karmic bitchslap for getting too happy, too quickly.

I also feel guilty about feeling sad. There are so many women who have faced far greater struggles on their journey to parenthood and who have had to endure far worse losses. I poked around a messageboard dealing with loss yesterday and felt silly & selfish. My situation seems so much more trivial by comparison.

So now I am trying to find some positivity out of this whole thing. We can build up our savings some more. I can keep eating sushi, rare meat & soft cheeses. I can get hardcore about dieting & exercise. I can take that trip to Portland in mid-November. And Christmas will always be much saner (the due date would have been 12/22).

The part that really gets me is that if I hadn't wanted to take cold medicine on Friday, I wouldn't have even thought of testing until this morning. Which would have been unnecessary; I just would have assumed that my period was late this month. I never would have known that I was pregnant, even if it was just for a minute.

This is one of those times that ignorance would have been bliss.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Book Challenge: February and March Recap

Thank goodness they don't deactivate Blogger accounts for inactivity. ;-)

Since I lost the post-it that had been pulling double duty as my bookmark and as my scratch paper for keeping track of what I've read, this list might be a little incomplete. Oh well.

12. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray -- This is the first book in a trilogy about British schoolgirl Gemma Doyle and the magical power that she possesses. I had a hard time getting into this one, but by the end I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.

13. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray -- The second book in the Gemma Doyle series, this was my favorite one.

14. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray -- The finale to Gemma Doyle's story. I wish I liked it more. The first half was so slow and plodding. While the second half picked up considerably, there was a twist that I just could not get on board with. I left the series feeling disappointed.

15. Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes on a Marriage by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher -- A memoir by two Wall St. Journal writers who fell in love with each other as well as wine. I loved this book. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you have some wine on hand while you read it. I didn't and it was torture!

16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett -- Set in the south, in the early to mid 1960s, this novel explores race relations and societal expectations from the perspective of maids and their employers. I couldn't put this book down once I started.

17. Glass by Ellen Hopkins -- This picks up where Crank left off. In this installment, Kristina relapses hard.

18. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby -- I really wanted to like this book, but didn't. I haven't given up on reading Nick Hornby though.

19. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory -- This was another book I had a hard time getting into. Is there any point in reading Philippa Gregory's books if you can't picture Jonathan Rhys Myers as King Henry while you read? I need to cast my own eye candy in the royal roles before the next book is released.

20. A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates -- This was a seriously fucked up story. Like really, really fucked up. *shudder*

I know that I'm missing a couple. I hope my post-it will turn up eventually.

On a book-related note, I recently joined Goodreads. If you'd like to add me as a friend, you can search for me under

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Book Challenge: January Recap

Hmmm ... I think I promised to blog about more than just books and skating, but here we are with another book post. I actually do have a vacation recap post in progress, but sometimes all you have the energy for is something quick and easy. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

I upped the ante and got off to a really good start this year. I always read more on vacation. :-)

1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver -- This month's book club pick about an evangelical minister who drags his family to the Congo, and the lasting effect the experience has on them all.

2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult -- The ending annoyed me. I hear the movie has a different ending, but I'm still not convinced that the movie won't annoy me as well.

3. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver -- A mother tries to understand what might have made her son a killer. Disturbing, but thought provoking.

4. Cleaving by Julie Powell -- One of the worst books I have read in a long. long time. I'm not bothered by the fact that Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia) had an affair. I am bothered by how whiny, self-absorbed and entitled she is. Plus she's in dire need of a copy of He's Just Not That Into You.

5. Skinny by Ibi Kaslick -- A rather disjointed novel about anorexia, its aftereffects and family secrets.

6. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson -- What Skinny hoped to accomplish in tackling the topic of eating disroders, Wintergirls actually did.

7. The Wild Things by Dave Eggers -- I don't have the sentimental attachment to Where The Wild Things Are that a lot of people my age do. So while this entertained me, I probably didn't appreciate as fully as others would.

8. Crank by Ellen Hopkins -- Realistic story of a teenage girl's addiction to meth. I'm torn about the ending. One the one hand, it seems a little preachy and too convenient. On the other hand. it is not uncommon among addicts.

9. Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater by Frank Bruni -- It's not too often you read about body image concerns and insecurities from a man's perspective, much less a man who makes his living as a food critic.

10. Falling Out of Fashion by Karen Yampolsky -- Standard chick lit fare, but holds a special place in my heart because it's a thinly veiled account of Jane magazine's demise. Jane had also been the editor of Sassy magazine, which I adored and which was the first magazine I ever subscribed to. Teenagers today totally missed out on that one. Jane wasn't as great as Sassy, but sometimes one has to take what one can get.

11. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee -- A tale of ill-fated lovers in Hong Kong's expatriate community, both during WWII and the decade following.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Three years ago ...

I was so excited while waiting in the bridal room at the church that I could barely sit still.

We had an awesome time with our guests during cocktail hour.
I spent a very important day in my life with my best girls,
the best co-workers I could ever have in my life,
and the best brothers a Deltasig could ask for.
Kids at weddings are a hot topic of debate, but our reception wouldn't have been the same without all the kids who hit the dance floor.
And we ate the yummiest cake I have ever had in my life. nomnomnom :-)

Three years later and I haven't changed the locks yet ...... haven't even contemplated it ...... I love you Eddie!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What are you doing this week?

We will be gazing upon this:

Don't be a hater! ;-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Book Challenge: December Recap

I missed my revised goal of 65 books, but that was out of sheer laziness on my part. I can't complain at all though. I finished out the book challenge with some great stories, especially the last book I read. Before going any further, I have to give a shout-out to Jessica, who has been an endless source of fantastic recommendations & reviews. Whenever I got stuck trying to decide what to read next, I always found an answer within her blog.

The final books of 2009:
58. The Luxe by Anna Godberson
59. Rumors by Anna Godberson
60. Envy by Anna Godberson
61. Splendor by Anna Godberson
62. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

My reading goals for 2010? To read at least 50 books again, but with a focus on some big books and classics that I've been meaning to tackle for a while.

Why Hello There 2010 ...

... you certainly seemed to sneak up on me. I guess that's what happens when you never quite get into the holiday season. It all passes by before your eyes and all of a sudden it's a new decade. Then you start to reflect on the past ten years and realize how much has happened in your life. I have to admit that the last decade brought a lot of change and upheaval to my life, but overall it was good to me.

So I am trying to be good to the new decade by starting off on a positive foot. I'd like to say that it was an easy day, but I hit a rough patch in the morning that had the potential to entirely derail my day. I'm a big believer in setting the tone for the year by your actions and attitude on January 1st though, so I forced myself to turn the day around rather than wallowing. I made a yummy brunch . I took a chance on an interesting-sounding sparkling shiraz instead of my usual champagne (verdict --- thumbs up). I called my parents & my brother. I went to the gym and did a solid 30 minutes of cardio (gasp! --- like literally dude; I'm way out of shape). Then I came home and made Eddie one of his favorite meals. And now I'm actually blogging again, about something other than books or skating.

So bring it on 2010. You might have startled me a bit, but I think I'm ready for you.