Monday, March 3, 2014

Goal Accomplished: Number One: Get a Tattoo

Meet Felix, my newest art addition. Number one on my bucket list (which was in no particular order) was to get a new tattoo. This wasn't exactly what I had planned but I trusted the tattoo artist and am so so pleased with results. The four birds are symbolic of my little birdy family and I love it more than any other part of this tattoo. Now on to the next things on my list!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Labor Day...

I did say I was going to try to update more and here we go :)

Tonight I went with a friend to see the move "Labor Day" based on the book I read a few weeks ago by Joyce Maynard. This post won't spoil the movie or the books, no worries there. The book was excellent however I'd say the movie was infinitely better than the book actually, mostly because of the way the book was written, it left things open to interpretation for a screen writer and it worked well.

So in the story, the main character has been experiencing multiple miscarriages; the first time it happened she said she awoke to cramps and as "I sat there, I felt something tiny slip away and all I could think was, 'if only, if only I could have held on just a little tighter' and the times it happened after that, I woke to the feeling of betrayal by my own body"

AND that, my friends, is when I turned in to a sobbing mess.

I have had more than one miscarriage and, of course, Gabriel was born with a disability and I've always felt...something. A type of grief I couldn't put in to words; a betrayal by my own body, something that no one could have prepared me for. I literally had no words for the way I have felt for the last 12 years until now.

I sat in the dark theater crying silently, trying to catch my breath and not let on to anyone near me that my heart was literally breaking and healing at the same time. I sort of tuned out the movie for a moment and became aware that there were other women in the same space as me crying for the same reasons...and suddenly it didn't feel like such a damn burden to be carrying anymore.

Why are we not talking to each other about these things? Why are women not telling each other these things after we lose pregnancies and have complications with pregnancies and give birth to children whom we love with all of our hearts but came with challenges that we definitely not prepared to deal with? Why do bear this sort of grief by ourselves? Why do we feel like we HAVE to bear this quietly and go about our days damaged? Why can't we speak freely about the pain these things cause?

Why? Because we are told that it happens "commonly" that "lots of women have it happen". We are told "it's 'god's' will" and that it wasn't "really a child so why are you upset?"  We are made to feel that we are  not allowed to feel this grief, this pain, this BETRAYAL by our VERY OWN BODIES because it happens all the time...but that doesn't make it any less real. That doesn't make it any less painful, and that doesn't make anyone feel any better about it.

So this is what I am saying to you tonight, if your heart is heavy because of pregnancy loss or a child with a disability and you need someone who knows what it feels like to listen, I am here. I will listen and I will not tell you "it's meant to be" or "it's 'god's' will" I will listen to you...and listen some more. I will tell you that you are not alone, I will tell you that it doesn't matter if it was a month ago, a year ago, or twenty years ago. Grief is grief, no matter how fresh that wound is. No one should go through this sort of thing alone.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Goal 11: Autism Walk Chicago

Number 11 on my list was "Participate in the Autism Walk" I registered tonight and now it's time for you to start making donations (ha ha, you knew that was coming right?) My personal goal is $150 and Geo and the kids will also have the same goal-I asked them to join me and they said yes.
Here's my link and I'll keep you posted :)
Chrissi's Donation Link

Monday, January 27, 2014

Goal 13: Learn a New Dish Each Month

This is my sticky post for my new dish to learn how to cook each month.

For January I made this:
Roasted Broccoli with garlic parm. butter
I also sliced up red potatoes and carrots and it was DELICIOUS!!
Will definitely be adding it to my regular menu items, both kids asked for seconds...and neither of them likes broccoli. One change I made though, was that I used five cloves of garlic instead of two, but we like things very garlicky in our house :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

35 by 35: Pounds Lost

This entry, much like the previous one, is a "sticky post" for tracking my progress toward goal three which is lose 35 pounds. I am at my starting weight as of today and will be working my way down til September 30 :)

Today's weight: hahahaha did you really think I'd share that? We'll just do the last two numbers, ok?

January 19, 2014 X75
January 26, 2014 X72.8
February 2, 2014 X69.8
February 9, 2014 X68.4

A side note, I reupped my gym membership this past week and I'm feeling pretty motivated, let's see if I can keep it up, shall we?
I'll check in next week!

35 by 35: Reading List

This is going to be a "sticky post" as they are called sometimes for goal number 12 which is  read one book a week. I'll update this post once a week with an Amazon link to the book I read/am reading in case you are interested. Please note: I am not gaining anything by posting an Amazon link, there aren't any strings attached, just a quick reference in case you'd like to check it out :)

For the week of  01-12-14 I read Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
For the week of 01-19-14 I am reading Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
For the week of 01-26-14 I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
For the week of 01-26-14 I also read The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
(I must say, I read an awful lot, so this bucket list item is going to be easy to fulfill!)
For the week of 02-02-14 I am reading The Zoo Keepers Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
For the week of 02-02-14 I am also reading Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier 
For the weeks of 02-09-14 thru 02-23-14 I read the The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
For the week of 03-02-14 I am rereading an old favorite A Painted House by John Grisham

Monday, January 13, 2014

Closet Hipster No More

It has recently come to my attention that I am a closet hipster; I was slightly miffed at first by the accusation because I do not have a handlebar mustache, a manual type writer, and do not have an affinity for triangles AND most importantly, I don't have a fixed gear bicycle...but I wish I did. Oops.

Actually, I wish I had a manual type writer too. When I was a teenager my grandmother gave me one and nothing brought me greater joy than typing things on it. Sure the inked ribbon was a pain in the ass and the keys got stuck more often than not, but oh the soothing click-clacking of the keys...so worth all the trouble they gave me.

Lately I've found that my musical tastes are a bit more eclectic than usual. Now don't get me wrong, I still adore Sarah McLachlan, but there's something to be said for the sweet soothing voice of Dan Smith from Bastille, the drumbeats of Imagine Dragons, and the sheer joy I get from listening to Fitz and the Tantrums singing about breaking down walls.

And...the scarves. My goodness, how did I just discover how fantastic scarves are? (Not the crochet/knit ones, but the pashmina type scarves) they look fantastic with everything. Dresses up a t shirt, dresses down a button down. Not only that, but they keep you warm. It's fashionable and practical. Wait, did I just say that?

What else classifies me as a hipster? Chunky black glasses (which I need to see dammit!) loving owls (who knew?) Drinking beer no one else seems to like (rolling rock, not PBR gross) and I shop at thrift stores (because I'm thrifty, not ironic!)

Oh well, at least I own it, ya know? I've never been huge on labels but I wear this one with pride...which means I'm not truly a hipster (ha ha! gotcha!)

Here, have some hipster music...you'll like it, I'm sure!

Oblivion by Bastille

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

Break the Walls by Fitz and the Tantrums

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I'm reviving this blog...for the sole purpose of tracking my 35 by 35 bucket list.

In September I'll be turning 35; for some reason this struck me as a "big deal" and I felt like I should do something to commemorate it. I decided that I would pick 35 things to do in the next nine months; they're all attainable, however I'll have to work for some of them-no worries though, since I love a good challenge :)

Here's my list (note, this is not the order they need to be done in, it's just the order they were brainstormed in also note that some of these are PG-13):

01. <s>Get a new tattoo</s> DONE!!
02. Complete the Couch to 5 K program see it here
03. Lose 35 pounds
04. Crochet a baby blanket
05. Go to a concert
06. Have a weekend away by myself
07. Have a weekend away with HH
08. Take a class
09. Go to the Chicago Pride Parade
10. Do a color run
11. Participate in the Autism walk
12. Read one book a week
13. Learn how to cook one new dish a month
14. Do 50 squats in a row
15. Hold a fancy dinner party
16. Have boudoir photos done
17. Volunteer at TAILS looks like fun, check it out
18. Donate cupcakes for my birthday to a local shelter
19. Give someone $35 randomly
20. Hold a tea party
21. Have an adults only slumber party complete with a pillow fight
22. Go on the Jelly Belly Tour it's free too! woohoo
23. Start a gratitude jar; write down one thing per day
24. Finally meet up with some online friends I've known forever
25. <s> Get oddly colored highlights put in my hair</s> Done!! I have a bright blue highlight in the front of my hair and it's fantastic Done 02/07/2014
26. Wear make up for seven days in a row
27. Watch every single Harry Potter movie back to back (one caveat though; bathroom breaks and sleeping are definitely allowed, this is 24 hours of movies haha)
28. Learn how to put victory rolls in my hair
29. Use the Michelle Phan youtube channel to learn an outrageous make up technique
30. Go out to dinner, order as normal. When it arrives switch dinner with the person you are with.
31. Buy one kick ass outfit completely brand new (a big challenge for me since I'm cheap lolol)
32. Blog regularly on my secondary site (that'd be this one)
33. Allow Geo, Tommy, and Teresa to cook me one meal a month for nine months (this one is a very big deal since I always do all the cooking, I've also been instructed I can't come in the kitchen while they are cooking either.....)
34. Get a Brazilian wax.
35. <s>Clean out my closet and get rid of anything that is a) unflattering b) does not fit c) hasn't been fashionable in the last five years</s> DONE 01/27/2014 :D

So there we have. 35 by 35. I'll be posting updates here on my progress toward these goals and am looking forward to a fun next nine months.