Friday, June 19, 2009

A short break

This past weekend Jonathan and I headed for the Cave Junction / Grants pass area to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. I've spent a lot of time over the past couple weeks reflecting on where we were a year ago and being very, very glad that 2008 is behind us. We had a great weekend away. We stayed up at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves which was serene and provided some much needed rest for both of us. We went on a couple hikes, toured the Oregon caves, toured a nearby tree house bed and breakfast (it was as weird as it sounds) and took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River.

The economy in Southern Oregon seems to be a lot worse than it is up here. We saw people walking, hitchhiking and sitting on the side of the road asking for money everywhere we went. I have to admit, Jonathan and I have not really been affected by the poor economy. We both have fairly stable jobs, we have a bit in savings, we've bought a house and a car recently and we are quite comfortable. It was a bit jarring to see so many people who were obviously destitute. On the other hand, it made me appreciate what we have all the more. Jonathan and I have been blessed many times over and it is all too easy to forget that.

As soon as we got back from our mini-vacation, it was like we had never been gone. Someone vandalized the stop sign at the end of our road while we were away, we had a fight the day we arrived home, and when we went to the store someone scraped up the new car and drove away without leaving a note. My work week has been insane, and Jonathan's hasn't been much calmer. We haven't even been back for a week and we're both running to and fro, busy, busy, busy with little time for each other.

This year I am determined to do less running and more sitting and talking. It was so strange to feel like we needed a weekend to catch up and see how the other person was doing. Life is busy, but it's also short and I'm going to try to relax a bit and be a better person (and wife) this year. We'll see how it goes ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Switch

The day before Jonathan left for Washington I switched my thyroid medication. Oh, wow. I probably shouldn't have done that while I was living alone. I've been hanging out in the zombie zone for the past few days. I may call my doctor tomorrow because I am exhausted, sick and quite loopy.

I sleep for 9 hours, but can barely get up in the morning. I keep slurring my words at work (sorry to the new hire I am training right now!) and I cannot seem to put my thoughts in order. And now, tonight, I've started throwing up. Once I hit the throwing up, or weeping stage, that is it. It's time to call the doctor and make sure he knows what the heck he's doing.

Chances are, he does. It's just a nasty time when you mess with body chemicals and hormones. I've been on the same medication for so long I forgot how unpleasant it was to feel this way.

And I'm so irritated and I don't think before I speak. Maybe I should've taken a week off work before doing this. I knew it was going to be a big change, but it's worse than I thought it would be. I went from a 5 mg once a day really strong dose to a weak sauce drug that requires me to take 50 mg twice a day. BUT, it will cross the placenta a bit less when (if) I get pregnant, so it's worth it.

On the up side, our 3 year anniversary is today. Jonathan flies in from Washington at 11:15 tonight so we won't celebrate until this weekend. We're going to take a little trip and it's going to be wonderful to catch up.

I need to get the dog settled and head off to the airport. I HATE going to the airport; hopefully I can stay awake on the drive up!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Ah-Ha Moment

A few days ago Jonathan and I were arguing about whether this is the right time for us to buy a dishwasher. We would have to use a bit of savings to do it because we are putting most of our money in our savings account right now in a desperate attempt to spend less. I was dead set against dipping into our savings, while Jonathan thought it was fine because we've been planning on purchasing a dishwasher since we moved into the house and the one we wanted was on sale. As our discussion escalated Jonathan tossed out a brilliant tidbit: "Our savings exists so we can buy things!" Now, this may not seem like a shocking statement to most people, but for me it was a huge Ah-Ha! moment.

When we first got married we had no money. Heck, we had less than no money. Jonathan's parents paid most of our rent and we went over to their house for dinner a lot. It was a very lean, very scary time for us. Now that we are more financially secure I am paranoid of regressing back to that time in our lives. And as a kid I remember my dad losing his job multiple times. We never wanted for anything, but I remember one particularly tough year when my parents went through a good portion of their savings. Now that I have some control over what we earn, save, spend etc. I am desperate to have enough money in the bank just in case something happens. Here's the problem with that theory: you never know how much just in case might cost you.

This weekend I finally figured out why we have 2 savings accounts. One for the majority of our savings, one for things we may want to buy, like a new car for Jonathan, a dishwasher, lawn furniture, and on and on and on. I can't believe it took me this long to figure out that I don't have to freak out every time we buy something. Now, don't get me wrong, I like buying lots of small things like clothes, books and things for the house. However, when that figure creeps over $300.00 I start to sweat. I know $300.00 is not a lot of money but that is my base line freak out number and I'm pretty sure I can't change that.

Fortunately, I can change how I react when Jonathan asks if now is the time to buy a dishwasher. Turns out, it's not. Someday though I will have my little 18 inch dish cleaning wonder. And when that day comes I will remain calm and hand over the money.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Teaching a dog how to swim

The past couple days we've been taking Sam's dog Slate to a park in Keizer so he can learn how to swim. It is so funny watching a dog try to figure out how to swim. By day 2 he was swimming like a little seal. He still won't get in the river, but he doesn't mind the lake we found. The video quality isn't great because we took it with our camera, but you can still see how great he's doing. Isabel is the other dog in the video. She doesn't care what Slate does as long as she can keep swimming and fetching!

Here is one of his first attempts


video

And here he is on day two swimming like he's done it all his life. Okay, he's not that good, but he'll be doing really well by mid-June.

video

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's almost June?!

This has been a crazy month. I can't believe June is almost here, although I am loving the warmer weather. My mom was in China for two and a half weeks this month (she arrived home safely on Friday!) and the direct result of her absence was my life speeding up a lot. My sister relies on my mom to help her with nearly everything and with my mom being in another country, much of that fell on me. I don't mind helping my sister out, but it is exhausting. My nephew is 2 and a half now and he has lots to say about the world and his life. I loved spending so much time with him, and I was given a new name, (Nana Annie) but at the end of our days together I found myself ready for a book, some ice cream and a bit of couch time.

On Sunday Jonathan and I went for a hike with my dad and the dog. We went all the way up to the base of Hoodoo only to discover the hike we really wanted to do was still completely snowed in. We went back down to Detroit and hiked the Breitenbush trail. With my mom gone my Dad was working 14+ hour days and I felt like it was important to get him out of his office. Of course when we got back to our house he hopped into his car and headed in to work. At least we tried.
The next day, Monday, I got home from spending a day at the beach with my sister and nephew only to have to go with Jon to rescue his two best friends. They had spent the day drinking and kayaking on the Willamette River. Around 7:30 they tipped over and had quite a dramatic time trying to make it to shore with the kayaks and themselves intact. We didn't know they were drunk until we found them in Keizer River park dripping wet, cold and miserable. Dan was two days back from his honeymoon and I told him I thought he would be a little more responsible when he got married. Sam kept telling us he was so glad his phone worked because he thought for sure they were going to die. These boys are nearing 30, at some point they're going to have to pull themselves together and stop acting like frat boys.

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday, went to my sister's on Thursday, worked Friday and Saturday and went to a birthday party last night. Sam's mom had a big UFC party for her birthday. She likes to knit and she loves UFC (what a combo!) so we watched the fights on a big projection screen in their living room. It was more fun than I thought it would be, and not too bloody.

Now it's Sunday again and Jon's working a short shift as a wayfinder because people are still having trouble finding their way in the new hospital. He gets paid the same as he does for his regular job, only it's time and a half and he gets to stand in the parking garage for 4 hours and tell people which elevator is the correct one to use. Why they don't just put up a sign, I don't know, but we'll take the extra money!

Tomorrow it's off to the beach again to get Jon some shirts for his Washington DC trip, which is fast approaching, and to pick up some things for my sister at her beach house. If Ryan's chemo goes well on the 4th of June they will be headed out to Idaho with Scott. They'll have to come back once a month for chemo, but at least they will get to spend three weeks of each month together as a family.

I am exhausted. May has been a whirlwind of activity and I could really use a vacation. That's not going to happen until August though. We're going camping and we're going to have a huge housewarming/birthday bash August 8th. It's not even June and I already feel like the summer is almost over!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wedded Bliss

This week has been a long and tiring one. On Friday night we had our first wedding of the season! Jonathan's friend Dan got married at the Grand Ballroom in McMinnville. It was a wonderful wedding, lots of fun, good food, I am so glad Dan is happy, but I am exhausted. Jon was in the wedding so the week leading up to the big day was very full for him. It seems like Jon, Sam and Dan were out every night enjoying Dan's last few nights of singledom.

After the speeches I was walking down to the restrooms when Sam came up beside me. He started talking about how his two best friends were married now and how sad he is. Then I asked him about his ex, something I've been wanting to do for a long time. While Sam and I are fairly close (I see him at least once a week, if not more) we're not close enough that I can ask him what the heck happened with his last girlfriend without him giving me an opportunity. Well, opportunity knocked and I took it.

We stood outside the restrooms (lovely place for a conversation, I know) and he explained that he didn't really know what happened. He thought she was the one, he thought he wanted to marry her but now he's glad to be single again because the only happily married couple he knows is Jonathan and me. Mmm, I don't really think that's entirely true, but he was feeling rather sad so I let it pass without comment. I told him Jonathan and I didn't have a perfect marriage, no one does, but not everyone's willing to put that much effort into a relationship and that's fine. Throughout the week people kept asking Sam when he would get married and I could tell he had had it. So I told him Jonathan and I were happy for him if he was happy. Then an older gentleman came up and told Sam he loved his speech and the conversation was over.

It was a strange moment, but every now and then Sam will open up to me and all I can do is try to give him the best advice I can in a very short amount of time. Usually he's drunk when this happens, or well on his way, but I'm pretty sure the copious amounts of So Co he drank throughout the afternoon had worn off by the time we talked. It's always interesting to get serious glimpses of Sam because he's usually happy and jovial. He knows a lot of people, he's super friendly and everyone loves him. When he drops his guard and gets serious it always throws me off balance.

I like all of Jon's friends, but I am the closest with Dan and Sam. Jon's known them for 12 years and I've known them for almost 6 years now. I'm so happy for Dan and his new wife. I teared up during the ceremony, during the speeches, during the first dance ... I never all out cried, but I was emotional for most of the wedding. If Sam ever gets married, I will be ecstatic for him, but I really don't believe that's in the cards for him. So I must remind myself that he is happy being single and I should not ask him if he will ever get married. Marriage is not right for everyone and he's perfect just the way he is.

I'm getting emotional just writing about weddings! I guess it's time to finish up the dishes. Jonathan and Sam want to take the dogs down to the river this afternoon. Hopefully it will be warm!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Freedom!

Last week we got really, really good news. Jonathan was picked to go to the national echo cardiogram conference in Washington DC in June. Basically this is a big convention where techs and doctors can learn about new tools, machines etc. Jonathan will be gone from June 5th - June 10th.

I'm happy for Jonathan because the higher-ups at the hospital wanted to send somebody with seniority, but the direct managers convinced them that Jonathan had a lot of influence and had done a lot for the department. And he gets to go with his good work friend and I know they're going to have lots of fun causing havoc all over DC.

I'm really happy for me because I LOVE having time to myself and I haven't had any since the year we were first married and that was only for a couple days. I love my husband to pieces, but sometimes it's wonderful to have a few days alone.

With Jon out of town I don't have to cook, I don't have to do nearly as much laundry (until he comes back) and it's much easier to keep the house up. When he leaves I tend to revert to college days. I have cereal for dinner, I stay up really, really late, I eat lots of food that I'm not supposed to have and I watch way more stupid TV shows than I do normally. With Jon gone I can turn on MTV, (which makes me feel old) curl up with a book, some chocolate, a beer and just be. Now, granted, I could do this even with Jonathan in the house but it's not as much fun. When he's away, I feel like I'm getting away with something, even though I know he could care less what I'm doing.

I'm going to have 5 entire days to myself and I'm going to cherish every moment. I'm going to have caffeine because there won't be anyone around to tell me not to. And there won't be anyone around to tell me to stop complaining about how uncomfortable I am once the caffeine kicks in and my heart rate sky rockets. There won't be anyone around to tell me that popcorn and ice cream is not nutritional and does not equal dinner. There won't be anyone around to pop into the living room, or bedroom, on the weekend to ask "Have you really been reading for 5 hours straight??" Oh my, it's going to be wonderful.

And here's the best part: No X-Box from June 5th - June 10th. No guns, no shouting into the headphones, no parties at our house, no online parties. I'm going to have days of peacefulness and I am going to treasure them.

BUT - it's probably a good thing he will only be gone for a few days. At the end of our time apart I will miss him, it will be our 3 year anniversary, and I will desperately need a decent meal.

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