Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking back

(haven't weighed myself in days. . . . so who knows?)

The end of the calendar year always seems to be a time for re-examining the preceding twelve months. Every other show on TV seems to be chronicling the "Top Ten" whatever that happened in 2008. (I've long believed that this is done, in large part, because the weeks before and after Christmas are quite slow news-wise.) I thought, why not include my own top ten lists? So here they are. . . .

Top ten things that happened in my life this year (roughly in date order)

1. Took my first deposition
2. Moved in with MM
3. Bought my first house
4. Got a favorable first performance evaluation at work and a raise
5. Visited Rocky Point (& took Sebastian to the beach) for the first time
6. Did a fitness boot camp
7. Visited Rowan twice
8. Got married! (They said it would never happen--ok, they didn't; I did)
9. Lost (and re-gained) about 10 lbs
10. Visited Maui

Top ten things that I would like to do (or see happen) in 2009 (not listed in order of importance or likelihood)

1. Become more routine-oriented
2. Become a more efficient biller at work
3. Visit Rowan at least three times (especially now that he is getting to an age where he'll know whether or not I'm there!)
4. Lose weight (yeah, it's on the list again)
5. Get more organized at home (this one, too)
6. Get pregnant
7. Adopt another dog
8. My parents to stay in good health
9. See more of my friends
10. Write a first chapter for a novel

Ten lessons I learned in 2008:

1. When my mom said half my friends would be "divorced and back out on the market" by the time I was ready to get married. . . . she was right (again).
2. If a 2-year-old sees something he wants, once he puts his hands on it and claims it as his own, it belongs to him, at least in his own mind. Take it back at your own risk!
3. Once you're married, everyone wants to know when/if you will be having children.
4. If you choose to do things that are unconventional--like eloping, keeping your own name after marriage, or not wearing a white dress for your wedding--there are people who will judge you and think you are strange.
5. White Americans WILL vote for an African-American man for president!
6. Sometimes even your closest friends can still surprise you with their behavior.
7. I'm happier if I have coffee in the mornings.
8. Life is easier if you get along with your in-laws.
9. Getting rid of things I don't need or use gives me a feeling of freedom.
10. Neither a healthy diet nor regular exercise alone will make me lose weight. I have to do both simultaneously! (OK, I knew this already, but I was in denial. And it's been reconfirmed.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to end a friendship. . . .

No, I'm not mailing this. I wrote it to get my thoughts and feelings out of my head and onto the page.

************************************
It has been over a month since you and I have spoken. At this point, you may be wondering why I have not been in touch. Given the many years that we have known each other and been friends, I’ve decided that I should make my feelings clear rather than simply avoiding contact with you, as I have done thus far.

To be succinct, I have been hurt by your failure to acknowledge my marriage in any way, shape or form. I didn’t expect much in the way of recognition, despite the fact that I attended both your weddings. A simple text message, email, or phone call would have sufficed and would be no more or less than I have received from many people in my life with whom I am not even in regular contact. However, it seems that even simple acknowledgement of the fact that I am married—or even that I took a vacation to someplace I’d long wanted to visit—was too much to expect.

Your lack of any response whatsoever to what is an extremely happy and significant event in my life has given me cause to re-examine my friendship with you. After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that our friendship has been mostly one-sided for a long time. I have made excuses for your behavior in the past, but in light of this most recent display of thoughtlessness, I cannot continue to do so.

Clearly you have not been too busy to text, email or send me a letter, given the fact that, since my return from Maui, you have found the time to send me two text messages about things going on in your life, a forwarded email about friends, and a Christmas letter. Apparently, though I know you had the time, you have not seen fit to congratulate me or even to mention my marriage. . . . or even my trip to Maui.

In my opinion, anyone who would fail to acknowledge an important event like a wedding for someone who she claims is a close friend, barring some type of dire emergency in her own life, is not someone with whom I want to associate myself. I do not know the reasons for your behavior, and at this point I no longer care.

I wish you well and hope that you find some happiness in your life. I cannot say that I will miss our friendship, primarily because it's been years since you have showed much interest in my life or offered me much support. I will say, though, that I am sorry to be ending a friendship of over twenty years’ duration with someone who I once considered as close as family, and I will miss hearing about your sons’ progress as they grow up.

Signed, S

Wedding photos

I really wish there was a way to post our professional photos on this blog; they turned out really great. Alas, the cost of the digital images themselves was too much to justify paying extra for them.

Instead here are a few shots taken by my mother-in-law before, during and after the ceremony.



Me post-spa and post-salon at lunch



MM and I at the beginning of the ceremony with our minister giving a traditional Hawaiian blessing (preceded by three blows on the conch shell)



Me smiling at the minister's banter (he was pretty funny)



MM and I looking at each other during the blessing



One of many kisses (this one after the exchange of leis). There were seven kisses during the ceremony alone: one after each of us said our vows; one after exchange of leis; one after exchange of rings; and one at the end.



Me blowing the minister's conch shell after the ceremony. It only took me two tries to get the right sound, though I wasn't nearly as loud as he was.



My MIL's version of a cute shot of the bouquet and our rings set up by the photographer/wedding coordinator



One of our posed shots after the ceremony. I love the long, multi-colored lei and the way the ocean looks in the background.



Another posed shot. Our videographer actually requested this one and then made MM do four (!) takes before he was satisfied. MM joked that the videographer "thinks he's Martin Scorcese." We were very happy with the way the video turned out, though, so it was worth it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas

We hosted Christmas Eve at our house, and then spent Christmas Day at my in-laws'. For Christmas Eve dinner, we had lasagna: an "M" family tradition since at least the early 1990s. I briefly considered making my own lasagna, but ended up getting it from Romano's Macaroni Grill instead.

Christmas Eve was the first time I've ever used my Noritake china which I received as a gift in 1990!



Sebastian posing in front of our faux fir on Christmas Eve. The number of presents doubled after MM's parents arrived.



The tree reflected in the mirror beside it



Hard to say from this photo whether Sebastian loves his Grandma J (my MIL, pictured) or just wants her leftover lasagna



Photographic proof that MM helps out around the house



Sebastian guarding his newest toy: a stuffed Spaniel from Ikea



Too tired even to wrestle with MM

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cuteness

A few shots of my friend K's kids from their visit last weekend.



This is her nine-year-old daughter. She was a bit more camera shy than her brother. A very sweet girl!



K with her nine-month-old son. Look at those cheeks!



The little guy on the move



Standing unassisted, using our couch for support

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 shopping days until Christmas. . .

I realized today that I still haven't posted my MIL's wedding photos as promised. Oops. Our professional photos are in the mail as of today, but I won't be able to post them on here because I was too cheap to pay for the rights to the digital images (it was a significant cost). I really should put up a few of us on our wedding day.

Not much to share. I'm really glad that I'm only working three days this week. Our office is closed on Thursday and Friday, so even though today is Monday, in a way it's like Wednesday already. ;-)

I woke up with a headache today and came to work late because of it. It sucks how many headaches I get, but since I am otherwise generally healthy, I guess it's just my cross to bear.

I learned today via Facebook that yet another of my law school classmates recently had a baby. I should seriously make a list of everyone from my law school class who's had a child int he past 18 months. I know it would be a lot of people. . . . at least 10-12, I'm thinking. And that's just of people that I hear/know about. . . maybe a third of our 160-member class.

An old, old friend contacted me today via Facebook, too. She is someone with whom I went to band camp when I was 13 years old. It was really weird--and really cool-to hear from her.

The weather here is gloomy and overcast again. Weird for Phoenix!

I had a fun visit with my college friend K and her family yesterday. Maybe I will post a few shots of her kids later along with my wedding photos. (K actually reads this blog. Hi!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You can't always get what you want

In my life, I can't say that I've always gotten my way. It's a rare person who gets her way all the time. And I'm not sure living that way would be healthy.

I *can* say, though, that most everything I've wanted to achieve, I've achieved once I made up my mind that I'd try to do it. Sure, I've had dreams that I've allowed to fall by the wayside--for example, I long ago thought that I wanted to be a doctor--but by and large, when I've set out to do something, I've done it.

The things that have always been most difficult for me are those things that are elusive, that you can't do much to "get." Things like friendship, love and happiness. Even there, though, I believed that I could take affirmative steps in a direction that might lead me to those things, and I did. I changed careers so that I'd feel more satisfied at work and hopefully therefore happier with my life. I've moved. I've gone out of my way to meet people and to date.

Though you can't make someone be a friend, I am fortunate to have many people in my life today who deservedly bear the title. In that area of my life, I am blessed beyond what I probably deserve. Despite the elusiveness of both love and happiness, I eventually found both. I love MM and have a wonderful relationship (and now marriage) with him. I am happy with my life.

Now, though, I am in pursuit of something that is turning out to be equally elusive. . . . and just like I did when searching for love and happiness, I am having a devil of a time accepting that this is not something that I can "get." I guess I am too much of a controller or a concrete thinker or something. I find it next to impossible to "let things happen" or to "just relax" or "let go and let God." Pick your phrase: no matter how you word it, I am not a passive person who can accept the will of the universe.

But I need to be. I need to learn to "accept the things I cannot change."

I'll be damned if I know how to do it. . . .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God, I'm old

212.8

I almost didn't even blog today because I'm in a funk (again). The weather here has been very un-Phoenix-like again today: dreary, cold (low 50s), overcast, and raining.

I am attributing my feelings of apathy in part to the weather. The fact that my eating has not been the best, I haven't been to the gym in a week, and all my current work assignments are BORING could all be contributing factors as well.

Anyhoo. . . . while browsing around on Facebook today, I learned that someone whom I used to babysit is pregnant and due in April. I am genuinely happy for her--that's not the point--but man, did it make me feel old!

And I felt even older when I realized that this woman has been married for a year, has a master's degree, is a working family therapist, and is 25 years old. In other words, she is AN ADULT in every sense of the word. Wow. It's weird to think that someone who I knew when she still used a pacifier is now a genuine grown-up.

Add her to the list of people I know who are pregnant or have had a baby in the past 3 years. The list must be over 30 by now, with some names appearing twice. ;-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

What do you think?

I am annoyed with a friend (who I will call D) and wanted to get the opinions of objective outsiders about my situation. She is one of my friends who is not very active on the internet, so I know she doesn't read this blog; she wouldn't even know how to find it! So I feel safe in posting this, knowing that she won't see it.

D has yet to acknowledge our marriage! She has not emailed, texted, called, sent a card. . . nothing. Even though she's known for months that it was going to happen and when. Since I got home, she has sent me two text messages: one a week ago Saturday (12/6) to tell me her middle son placed 2nd in a race he ran, and one last Wednesday to tell me that her period arrived 3 days early (we are usually on the same cycle schedule and both of us are currently off the pill). But nothing about our wedding or the fact that I got married.

By way of background, D and I have been friends for over 20 years. I attended her first wedding in 1995, and I flew two states away and took a day off work (on a Friday) to attend her second wedding this past February. She has three children--now aged 12, 10, and 8--and I spent a week at her house helping her with each of them within the first few months of their lives. I also spent a week taking care of them after she had surgery several years ago.

D has a history of being self-centered--many of our conversations over the years have involved my listening to her problems with her husband (now ex-husband), children, or crazy mother--and it's not uncommon for us to talk for an hour and have none of it be about me. So I'm used to her ignoring what is going in my life. But I feel that failing to acknowledge my marriage is incredibly rude and perhaps more than I can excuse or forgive.

Thoughts? Opinions? Thus far I haven't responded to either of her messages. I'm at a bit of a loss about what to do. Part of me wants to call her out about her rudeness, but another part wants to just continue to ignore the situation (and her).

Wow, actual cool weather!

Here in Phoenix, we don't see much of what most people would consider cold weather. Today is an odd one: it's overcast and the current temperature is 54 degrees. If it were colder--and I lived in another part of the country--I'd almost say it looks like it's going to snow. But I know that won't happen in Phoenix. The forecast does call for rain, though.

My weekend was a busy and productive one. I've been having some difficulty getting into "the Christmas spirit" this year. MM and I bought our tree and wreaths on Saturday; I addressed all my (50+) Christmas cards and wrote something in about half of them; decided on our Christmas Eve menu; and Sebastian got his photo taken with Santa at Petsmart on Saturday. So things are starting to feel a bit more "seasonal."

Oh, and for those who were speculating whether I might be pregnant in response to my "Bleh" post of last week. . . . yeah, my period arrived early Sunday morning. So I guess I did just have a prolonged case of The Mondays.

Mom and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" on Saturday night while MM was out with his friend. I love that movie! I really should buy it on DVD so that I could watch it more often. My sister often jokes that I'm "dead inside" because I hardly ever cry at things that others find moving. . . but that movie makes me tear up every time I watch it.

My dad is home from the hospital as of yesterday and doing better. My stepmom developed a cold after her surgery, so she's not feeling so hot. I'm sure it's not a fun time to be at their house! MM and I will be flying to visit them on New Year's Day: his first visit to New Mexico!

I finally got a few digital photos of our wedding from my MIL. Will post sometime this week. . . .

Friday, December 12, 2008

TGIF

213.8 (ugh)

I know I've used today's title for other blog posts, but nothing could more succinctly sum up my feelings about today. I need a weekend!

I continue to put off starting the South Beach diet. Yesterday was a tough day eating-wise: breakfast was what was provided at my legal education seminar (fruit, danish, & coffee); lunch was out; and dinner was at my firm's holiday client reception at a local resort. I always find it harder to eat healthfully when I'm not preparing my own food. I did eat quite a few roasted veggies and some fruit at the holiday reception, so I was proud of myself for that.

Lunch yesterday was fun. I met a friend from high school who I hadn't seen for over 20 years! We fell out of touch after graduation and just became reacquainted this past summer when plans were being made for our class's 20-year reunion--which neither of us attended--and we realized that we were both living/working in the Phoenix metro area.

It was interesting to catch up and find out what she's been up to for the past 20 years. Equally interesting: I had the sense that I'd want to be friends with her even if I met her today, something I wasn't expecting. So I'm sure we will be getting together again soon when time permits. Although we live in the same metro area, it'd be over an hour's drive from my house to hers, and we are both busy with work and personal stuff.

As usual, I have lots of stuff I need to get done this weekend, including finishing my Christmas shopping. (I only need to buy MM's gifts and three gift cards.) MM has plans to hang out with a friend on Saturday afternoon/evening, and I've made no plans; that's a rare occurrence! Of course, my mom is still staying with us, so I will hang out with her.

The good thing about Mom is that she won't mind if our time together is composed of my cleaning out my closet and sorting through some boxes. LOL Mom is also going to come with me to my office on Sunday to help me hang some photos and reorganize my desk and files. (As thanks, I'm going to take her out to brunch.)

My dad is in the hospital with pneumonia. The timing could hardly be worse because his wife had some outpatient surgery on Wednesday. (Actually, things could be slightly worse: my stepmom's surgery could've been more complicated, and then they'd both be in the hospital right now.) I talked with him this morning, and he said that he is feeling better. His doctor tells him that he can go home on Sunday if he continues to improve.

I cracked up when I read the comments on my last post. Too funny that people immediately thought I might be pregnant! Honestly, I am not in a position to even find out the answer to that question for at least another few days. And if I *were* pregnant. . . I'm not so sure I would write about it on this blog. Too many people IRL read it, and I wouldn't necessarily want everyone to know so early on. KWIM? I am of the school of thought that I would keep that news to myself--except for immediate family and a couple of close friends--until the 2nd trimester.

Only five-and-a-half hours until I can go home! Yea!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bleh

212.4

I'm in a bit of a funk today. Not exactly sure what's wrong with me. I don't want to work--all my current tasks are boring--and my energy level is low. My eyes feel heavy and itchy, as though I didn't get enough sleep, even though I had my usual eight hours. I feel alternately mildly nauseated and hungry.

Anyhoo. This, too, shall pass. I suspect I am just suffering from a little post-vacation/post-wedding letdown. It's not an uncommon thing.

I have a laundry list of things I need to get done at home, but last night I did none of them. The only things I accomplished were writing a few thank you notes (surprisingly, some friends/family have sent us money and gift cards after our elopement) and uploading my snorkeling photos to the computer. Otherwise, I did nada. Well, I did go to the gym, as planned.

If my current state of mind continues, I can see this evening being more of the same.

Bleh.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Off

211.8

It's funny how the scale has been hanging around the same number for a while now. I'm wondering if this weight is one of those "set points" that my body likes? I do know that I've been at this approximate weight a few times during my adulthood.

Ever since we got back from Maui, I have felt slightly off. First, I was exhausted from jet lag, sleep deprivation, and travel. Then I was fighting a nasty cold (which seems to be mostly resolved now, thank goodness). Today I am well-rested and seem to be over my cold, but I still feel. . . not quite right.

I had a relatively healthy breakfast: 2 soy sausage patties and a sugar-free Frapuccino. (Hey, it beats the peppermint mocha & pastry that I usually have!) I've been drinking water and have almost finished my first liter of the day. But I've been feeling vaguely nauseated and had some heartburn for a while, too. I took a couple of Tums, so we'll see if that helps at all.

Yesterday evening I got upset over something that is not really that big deal and can likely be corrected. (No, I wasn't mad at MM.) Even at the time, I realized that my emotional reaction was out of proportion to the issue. . . yet even realizing this, I continued to feel upset. I used to never be hormonal, but maybe I am developing PMS later in life or something. . . . who knows.

When I went to the grocery store last weekend, I bought all the foods I needed to start the South Beach diet yesterday. But I also decided to bake a chocolate cake, thinking that my mom and MM would eat it. And I brought home leftovers from Sunday night's dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill. My eating yesterday was definitely NOT SB-compliant or even healthy: the only vegetables I had were a few mushrooms in the cream sauce on my pasta, a small can of V8 with lunch, and a little bit of salsa on the burrito that was my dinner. And I ate two large pieces of chocolate cake.

So far today, I am off to a better start. Because I had dairy (in the form of the milk in my sugar-free Frappucino), I don't think I can really consider today a truly Phase One SB-compliant day. . . but if I stick with my planned lunch and dinner, I should be on track to at least a reasonably healthy day of eating. I brought a Lean Cuisine entree and some extra frozen veggies for lunch (along with V8 and a piece of lowfat cheese for an afternoon snack), and am planning on a Chik-Fil-A chargrilled chicken salad for dinner. I may have to throw the half-a-chocolate-cake that's left in the trash.

MM and I are going to the gym tonight, too. At the moment, I really don't feel like it. . . but I know I'll be glad I went. I actually worked out at the Hyatt's fitness center with MM three times while we were in Maui, but it's been over a week since I got any exercise: I haven't done anything since our return. Maybe working out will help me feel more back to normal, too.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Vegas/Maui recap

After a big ONE day back at work on Thursday (and my attorney holiday dinner that night), I woke up with a raging sore throat, aches, fatigue, and a headache on Friday morning. (And I didn't even drink at the party!) I guess that cold I'd been fighting off for over a week finally got the better of me. So I called in sick, slept for another three hours, and then spent the rest of the day rehydrating and taking it easy. As a result of feeling sub-par, I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I'd hoped to in the days that I've been home. . . but I have unpacked, done laundry, grocery-shopped, and done some housework.

AND. . . I finally got around to uploading and editing the photos from our trips!

Although our visit was a short one, it was great to see my sister V and her family in Vegas the weekend before Thanksgiving. My nephew Rowan is as cute as ever and is talking up a storm now! He amazes me with the number of words he knows and the sentences he can utter, to say nothing of his ability to parrot the words he hears (I almost had him saying "President Obama" in two days. Obama was easy; "president" was a bit tougher.) I took loads and loads of photos of him, but will include just a few here:






We took Rowan on the gondola ride at the Venetian. (It was one activity that none of us adults had done before, despite having been to Vegas numerous times since the hotel was built.) The second photo of the little guy shows the expression on his face as he watched the gondolier singing "Volare" in Italian. (And I swear I heard Rowan say "Volare" himself the next day!)

MM came very near to missing the Maui Invitational Tournament altogether: he flew home a day before me from Vegas so that he and his parents could fly out on Sunday morning. . . but picked up a raging case of (what was later diagnosed as) staph food poisoning at the Vegas airport. After awakening at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday with horrible vomiting, diarrhea, etc., he was in no shape to take a 6+-hour flight to Hawaii. Instead, he spent a few hours at an urgent care clinic receiving 3 liters of IV fluids and a shot in the butt for nausea. Poor lamb! When I arrived home a little before 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, he was huddling in a blanket on the couch, beet-red and shivering, with a fever of 101.6!

Luckily, between the care he got at the clinic and the TLC and Tylenol he got from his fiancee, MM was recovered enough on Monday morning to board my flight with me, though he was still far from 100%. He probably wasn't fully himself again until after we'd been in Maui for about 24 hours.

What can I say about Maui? Everything you read and hear about the island is true: it's an absolutely beautiful place. The resort where we stayed--the Hyatt Regency--was gorgeous, truly someone's vision of an island paradise. The grounds, the artwork, the beach promenade, the shops: everything was perfect. My photos don't even do it justice, so I won't post them here (the hotel's website has photos that put mine to shame). The resort even had swans, flamingos, and tropical penguins living on-site, as well as three talking parrots and a koi pond in the lobby.

We were lucky enough to get upgraded to an ocean-view room for our entire stay, rather than just for the three days after our wedding, as we'd anticipated. I could hear the waves crashing on the shore, even with our balcony door closed. . . what a wonderful sound to hear first thing each morning and last thing each night! The view from our balcony looked like this (the island visible in the distance is Lanai):


I spent several early mornings and evenings sitting on our balcony reading and enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean. (On a side note, I also read four complete novels during our trip! What bliss! I rarely got so much time to read in my usual daily life.)

We didn't do many of the typical tourist things that are recommended for first-time visitors to Maui--like driving the road to Hana or visiting Haleakala crater--in favor of enjoying the beauty of west Maui, on and near the resort. MM is not a big fan of road trips at any time, so he didn't want to spend lots of time in the car, and I acquiesced. (Marriage is about compromise, right?) We did go snorkeling at Molokini, as well as off Ka'anapali Beach near the hotel; went parasailing; took a sunset cruise up the coast of western Maui; and shopped in Lahaina.

And oh yeah, we got married!! ;-)

Our wedding was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. Everything went off without a hitch. The ceremony was a simple one, performed by a Hawaiian minister on the beach at D.T. Fleming Beach Park (just up the coast from Kapalua), complete with exchange of leis, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, a conch shell, and a ukulele. We couldn't have been happier with the way things turned out!

I obviously have no photos of my own of our wedding ceremony (pretty hard to shoot pictures when you're the bride!), but will ask my mother-in-law to email me some soon to post on here. I do have this photo of my bouquet to share:



Didn't it turn out well? (Bear in mind that I shot this photo the morning after the wedding, so a little wilt is visible.) My only requests were that it be primarily white (with only a small amount of pink, if necessary) and that it be composed entirely of flowers native to Hawaii.

After our wedding ceremony, we celebrated with a delicious dinner at Merriman's Kapalua, which is located right on Kapalua Bay. Eating at Merriman's was a very sweet gift to me from MM: he normally eschews any type of "foodie" eating establishments and is by no means an epicure, unless one considers Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse "fine dining." LOL

Really, that pretty much sums up our trips. The only things I forgot to mention: MM attended (and enjoyed) some--though not all--of the tournament's games on Tuesday and Wednesday (duh!); and I did some shopping and unscheduled exploring of Maui's northwest shore with my mother-in-law on Tuesday. (The "unscheduled exploring" came as a result of my driving past the turnoff for Fleming Beach when I went to scout the location. When we saw the breathtaking scenery, we didn't want to turn back! And I haven't seen so many shades of green since Ireland!)

I had a tranquil and relaxing week and would go back to Maui in a heartbeat. . . even though flying over 6 hours there and back--not including delays--is no picnic.

So now I'm an old married lady. (And no, I don't feel any different.)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

We're back

211.6

I only have time for a quick check-in, and I haven't even uploaded my photos from my camera yet. . . . but I wanted to say that I'm alive and married and back from Maui. We had a wonderful trip, our wedding was perfect--just what we wanted--and I really enjoyed seeing my sis and nephew the weekend before, too.

I'm back at work today and still trying to work my way through my inbox. I hope to write a comprehensive entry--complete with photos--by the end of the weekend.

P.S. I stepped on the scale with much trepidation this morning, thinking that it'd be way up after a week of eating with abandon. How awesome is it that I weigh about the same as before I left? Not that weighing 211+ is awesome, but it could be much worse. . .

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm out

211.8

We leave this afternoon for Vegas (closely followed by our trip to Maui). I am wrapping up my loose ends at work and have planned and packed everything for both trips to the best of my ability.

I probably won't post at all 'til I return after December 2.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Counting down

It's just a little over 48 hours now before I fly to Vegas for the weekend to visit V and her family. Although this visit could hardly come at a less convenient time for me--seeing as how it's right before I leave for Maui and my wedding--I am really looking forward to seeing my sister and my nephew!

I continue to plug away at my "to do" list. Focusing at work has become harder today as my mind shifts more toward getting prepared for my trips. (I'll be packing for both tomorrow night.) I still have three projects that I must complete before I leave and several others that I should complete, if time permits.

I've actually been calmer this week than last. I think the fact that I got a lot of things checked off my personal "to do" list over the weekend is a big part of the reason. Also, I've just arrived at the conclusion that, hey, these trips and this wedding are gonna happen whether I finish everything I need to do first or not. The inevitability of it all.

I am super-excited about finally seeing Hawaii and about marrying MM. Spending the time with him on vacation will be even sweeter because we haven't spent much "quality time" alone together, what with my busy schedule and my mom being in town.

We'll be married in just a little over 9 days!! ;-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The lazy way to write a post

The Aging Meme: All you have to do is either finish the sentence or fill in the blanks...

At a certain age women should: be able to take care of themselves.

At a certain age men should: know how to please a woman.

When I was a kid I thought I would: be a doctor and cure cancer.

Now that I am older I wish: for world peace.

You know you are too old to party when: you can't stay up past 11 p.m.

You know you are too young to retire when: you are stll paying off your student loans.

When I was in high school I listened to the music of: Duran Duran!

Nowadays I find I like the music of: the Jonas Brothers. (Yikes!)

On my last birthday I: had dinner with MM and friends.

On my next birthday I want to: go out to dinner with MM and friends.

The best birthday present I ever got was: an iPod.

The first time I felt grown up was: when I passed my boards and became a licensed registered nurse at age 23.

The last time I felt like a kid was: so long ago, I can't remember it!

When I read _____??___________it changed my life.

Last year (2007) was: a period of great personal growth for me.

Next year I hope: to finally have a child of my own.

Friday, November 14, 2008

14 days 'til the wedding

On my way back to the office from a deposition early this afternoon, I had a bit of a minor panic attack thinking of all the things I need to accomplish before I leave town ONE WEEK FROM TODAY. (I'm not flying to Maui until 11/24, but will be in Vegas visiting my sis & her family the previous weekend.)

I don't have the heart or the energy to provide even an abbreviated list of what must be accomplished in the next less-than-seven days. Suffice it to say: I am going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and I will still likely end up having to put some things--probably work-related ones--off until my return. (Simply because the personal stuff is "non-negotiable" and MUST be done before I leave.) And the vast majority of these tasks are things that *I* alone must do and cannot be delegated.

In spite of my too-long to-do list, I still had to spend time on the email and phone this afternoon with my wedding coordinator and her florist discussing my bouquet. (The Bouquet Problem is an issue worthy of its own blog post, if only I had the time and energy. My fingers are crossed that it's been resolved and will be the only wedding-related problem!)

And now am I putting my nose to the grindstone and cranking out some much-needed work product? Nope, I'm blogging.

[sigh] Sometimes I wonder about me. . . . .

Wouldn't actually getting some work done be more productive than blogging with a racing heart and shallow breathing? When will I learn?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Focus

211.8

I had to laugh mirthlessly when I read my post two posts ago about starting South Beach again on Monday. HA! The South Beach book did indeed arrive last week, and I have re-read most of it. . . but I never even went to the grocery store last weekend and have continued with the same crappy food habits I've had for the past several weeks. Bleh.

Perhaps with all the things I have going on, now is not the most realistic time for me to be tackling my weight problem. I resumed my usual weekly gym routine with MM this week (though boot camp ended on 10/29, I skipped the gym last week due to migraines on both Tues & Thurs), so that's a good thing.

When I think about losing weight, I usually harken back most often to 2003. Although I have lost 20-30 lbs on a few different occasions in my adult life, my 2003 Weight Watchers ("WW") experience was the one where it felt the most like I had actually made a lifestyle change vs. dieting to get to a certain weight. I lost 35 lbs in about 4 months and changed my attitudes about eating and exercise tremendously at that time.

The main thing that is different between THEN and NOW is that in 2003, I focused A LOT of time, energy, and effort on my weight loss (and just generally being healthy). I shopped 1-2 times a week; I planned healthy meals and snacks; I made a diligent effort to follow ALL aspects of the WW program, including eating the recommended numbers of veggies and fruits each day; and I exercised six days a week: a brisk 45-60-minute walk on three days with a friend, and 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by weights on the other three on my own.

Because I was a law student at the time, I had the freedom to choose to devote my time and energy to tackling this lifelong problem of mine. Although I attended classes 3-4 hours a day Monday through Thursday, the other hours of my week were unstructured, and I could choose to study when (or if, frankly!) I chose to do so. So on a given day, I could wake up with plenty of time to eat a healthy breakfast and pack lunch and a snack, go to class for a few hours until the early afternoon, and hit the gym after classes before doing anything else. That was my routine most days.

I wasn't working at the time; I was a full-time student only. I wasn't in a relationship with anyone. With the exception of my roommate, all of my friends were other law students. My family were all living in other states.

Equally important as the flexibility of my schedule then, I think, was my FOCUS. Studying the law is a very intellectual pursuit, and as such, can be pretty intense. I needed to occasionally step away from my law books in order to maintain my sanity and really to be a better and more effective student. Focusing on healthier eating and exercise gave me a welcome respite from immersion in legal concepts. . . . the exercise also afforded a much-needed physical outlet for my stress. (Many of my classmates chose to deal with the rigors of law school in less healthy ways--like drinking lots of alcohol--but that's another post. ;-) )

Contrasting that period in my life with my present life. . . . I now have a full-time job where I am generally expected to be in my office eight hours a day. I have a fiance who I will be marrying in just a little over two weeks. Within the past few months, we have bought and moved into a new house, and I am still not fully unpacked from that move and have not finished decorating the house.

I've come to the conclusion over the past year or so that I am one of those people who must focus a lot of attention and energy on eating in order to lose weight. I have been exercising pretty consistently for nearly a year--averaging 2-3 days a week since early January at least--and I weigh more today than I did on January 1, 2008. I've known for a long time that exercise alone won't help me lose any weight, so my experiences of the past several months only confirm what I already knew.

To put my current dilemma in a nutshell. . . . my focus is elsewhere now. I am focused on work (at times! lol) because I have to be. I am focused on MM and our home because I want to be. Every time I make a start on the path to healthier eating, I lose my focus and am unsuccessful.

The biggest part of the problem is that I think it is wholly appropriate for my focus to be on my job and on building my life with MM right now. I occasionally worry about my high cholesterol and the associated increased risk for heart disease that this brings. I more frequently bemoan how out-of-shape I am and how fat I look. But my concerns about my health and my appearance have not been sufficient to motivate me to change.

Without looking back at my archived posts, I am certain that I have blogged on this same theme several times before. I wish there were a way for me to discover what, in 2003, brought me to the point of mental readiness to make the commitment to put my focus on healthier eating and regular exercise. At the time, as I lost weight, I remember truly feeling that I had made a lasting lifestyle change. . . . but I can't remember what made me ready to start!

I started WW in January 2003 at 212.2 lbs, so I was within a pound of my current weight. AND I had weighed as much as nearly 230 prior to January 2003, so I don't believe it was the number on the scale that motivated me. I was exercising 3-4 days a week before beginning to change my eating habits with WW, so I don't think it was really a lack of energy that spurred me to change.

WHAT WAS IT??!!

I suppose if I could figure out what motivated me back then, I could not only get back to working on my weight problem. . . . I could probably apply that philosophy to others and make a bundle, too! ;-)

And oh yeah, while I'm at it: maybe I could try to figure out why my home is so disorganized too. [sigh]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Damn you, Facebook!

Like many of my generation, I have joined Facebook. When I first joined, I didn't spend much time on the site. Most of Facebook "friends" are more what I would term "acquaintances." Few of my close friends are actually members. Of late, though, I've been getting enough messages via Facebook that I usually check it out at least once a day.

One feature of Facebook that I really hate is the "People You May Know" feature. For one thing, the people it features are often people I DO NOT KNOW. The fact that someone attended college at the same university where I attended law school does not make it likely that we would be acquainted. Facebook should figure out a better way to let you filter these folks out.

Worse, the people it features that I actually DO know are often people that I don't know well enough to feel comfortable "friend"-ing. . . . or are people that I know but don't care for. ;-)

I also hate how other Facebook members can "suggest" friends to you. I find this feature puts me in an uncomfortable position. If I know and like someone, I generally put forth the effort to search for him/her on Facebook myself. Twice "friends" have "suggested" someone to me who is someone that I actually dislike. AWKWARD!

I've also accepted "friend requests" from people I know, but don't particularly like, simply because I wanted to check out their profiles. How wrong is that?!

Finally, checking Facebook regularly has brought home to me the fact that practically every one of my law school classmates has a baby. I knew about several of these babies already, but have learned of at least four or five others born to people with whom I do not maintain contact solely because of Facebook. There's nothing I need more than another reminder that I am one of the last childless people I know.

Damn you, Facebook!

Now if you'll excuse me. . . . I need to update my status. . . .

Monday, November 10, 2008

Engagement photo session

Our photographer posted a few select photos from our recent session on her blog. You can view the photos here.

Because of his line of work, MM feels really uncomfortable having photos of him available for internet searches. . . . so I will only leave this link up for a few days and then will delete it, out of respect for his privacy (and to prevent felons on MM's caseload from seeing them! lol).

I especially love the shots with Sebastian.

Enjoy!!

Edited on 11/17 to remove the link to the photos. Email me if you missed 'em!

Friday, November 07, 2008

TGIF

211.2

I haven't written a blog entry since Monday, although there's been loads going on. I didn't want to blog about the election results, even though I watched Obama's speech with a sense of relief and happiness. And although I've been busy, nothing else has really seemed worth blogging about. Just the sort of busy that comes with having a full life. ;-)

MM and I will be married three weeks from today! And I will be leaving town two weeks from today and essentially not returning home until very late on the night of December 2nd. (I'll be home for a few hours on the evening of Sunday November 23rd before leaving for Maui early the following morning.) When I think of all the things I have to accomplish, both at work and in my personal life, before leaving town two weeks from today, I start to feel a little panicky. So I'm trying to just not think about it and accomplish as much as I can each day.

I was home sick yesterday with a migraine (putting me another day behind schedule at work). I was fortunate to feel 100% back to normal this morning.

Tonight MM and I are finally going to see Changeling. Tomorrow I am spending most of the day with my mom: I'll be taking her out to breakfast, spending time at my old apartment sorting through and packing up the last of my stuff there, and we'll be attending a friend's baby shower together in the early afternoon.

Tomorrow night, MM and I are attending a reception for some friends of his who recently eloped. I can't say I am entirely looking forward to the occasion because all the other guests will be friends and acquaintances of MM's who I have not previously met; that never makes for a comfortable evening!

Sunday I will have to get some stuff accomplished around the house, and MM and I are going to his parents' house for dinner. And then another week begins.

The South Beach Diet book arrived. I will hit the grocery store on Sunday and start Phase One on Monday. I figure I will do Phase One for 10 days, until we leave for Las Vegas on November 21st. That'll be better than what I've been doing of late!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ironic

Although I will miss MM while I am in Prescott, I admit that I had been looking forward to being away from home tonight for one specific reason: because I am so sick of hearing about the presidential election. MM is absolutely obsessed with watching all the election coverage and commentary available, and it is been nearly non-stop for the past several days on multiple networks. I have begged him several times to TURN IT OFF. . . and he complies, but always turns the coverage back on after a while.

I was looking forward to a night in my cute little historic hotel with no TV and no election coverage. So imagine my dismay when one of the lawyers at my first deposition of the day mentioned that John McCain will be finishing up today’s campaigning with a midnight rally on the steps of the Yavapai County courthouse. . . right across the street from my hotel.

Is there nowhere I can go to escape talk of this election?!

And to add insult to injury. . . I have a strong suspicion that I am the only lawyer at this deposition who is not a McCain supporter. Ugh.

Oh well. Yet another incentive to hit the hay early tonight. With a little luck, I could be in a deep sleep before Senator McCain arrives and miss the whole thing.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween

Because it was our first Halloween in the new house--in a new subdivision--we decided the wisest course of action would be for us to stay home and see how many trick-or-treaters we'd get. After a slow start, we ended up getting 30-35 kids.

Sebastian, dressed as an angel, greeted the kiddies at the door with me and was well-received by all but one little girl who looked to be about 16-18 months old; she didn't see him until she stepped forward with her candy basket and got scared when she saw him.


Sebastian resting on his dog bed during a lull in the action


Waiting on the dining area tile for the doorbell. Doesn't his look seem to say "Why are you torturing me?" This shot affords the best view of his wings.



On alert, facing the front door


MM and Sebastian posing with our jack o' lanterns and ghoul


MM and his ghoul. The ghoul's eyes flashed red when you pushed a button; it took me several shots to capture the red eyes.


The ghoul on his own. He was actually pretty creepy: in addition to the flashing red eyes, his tattered linens moved with even the slightest breeze. He freaked me out several mornings on my way to fitness boot camp!


The jack o' lanterns I carved for the occasion. I had a Golden Retriever head pattern, but it looked too hard and I wussed out! ;-)

Landscaping

Here are some long-overdue photos of our landscaping. The plants are obviously immature, and the sod hasn't really taken root yet. . . . but I'm happy with the way it turned out.

My future MIL suggested I take these pictures so that I can have something for comparison in a year. She did that with their current home and was amazed how much her plants grew in a year. I thought that sounded like good advice.

In looking over the photos, I realized that the red yucca plants didn't show up very well. We have several both in the front and back yards; I guess they won't really be visible until they get a little bigger. You can see the other plants, though, even though in some instances they'd be too small to identify.

I've written under each photo what it depicts.


The sissoo tree, red yucca, and bougainvillea to the right of our driveway. (This view is actually looking roughly southwest and is the road we would take to drive out of our subdivision.)


The sissoo tree and sage bushes in front of our house (also showing the home to left of ours).


The petite pink oleander and sage closest to the curb. . . with a red yucca *barely* visible in the foreground


The front of our house--windows open into the kitchen--with our three petite pink oleanders. Note the Obama '08 sign in the window: the only one we've seen in our neighborhood (though we've seen plenty of McCain/Palin signs).


Our partially inground spa with the flagstones leading from the patio. The trees behind the spa are a pygmy palm on the left and a Chinese elm in the corner. Notice our neighbor's much taller tree; they have lived in their home about a year longer than us.


Our little patch o' grass where Sebastian will be able to roll and romp. . . once the sod has taken root. . . with MM's pygmy palm and part of the spa visible in the upper righthand corner.


The grass as seen from the patio with the bougainvillea visible to the left

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One more day

(didn't weigh before boot camp)

After this morning, I have only one more day left of my fitness boot camp. I am really looking forward to no longer having to wake up at 4:55 a.m. three days a week! It is almost 11:30 here, and I'm still frickin' tired after drinking a cup of coffee and a cup of green tea.

On a positive note, I learned a lot of new and different strength training exercises through participating in the boot camp. I am sure I worked out a lot harder in the boot camp than I usually work out on my own at the gym. I enjoyed the physical challenge of the boot camp and feel stronger for having (almost) finished it. And I really enjoyed the energy of my group and meeting the other women there.

I may attend another boot camp with this trainer again in the future. She has several participants who have been with her for as long as three years, and many of the other ladies attending were repeaters, so that's not uncommon. For the next couple of months, I feel I'm going to be too busy with work, the holidays, my mom's visit, and our Maui trip to fit it into my schedule. . . but I might feel differently after the first of the year.

I haven't lost any weight during the boot camp, and the reason is obvious: I've been eating like crap! In addition to my usual "sins" of not getting in enough fruits & veggies and overeating, I've also been craving starchy carbs a lot and have been indulging my taste for them far more often than I should.

Well, you know the old saying: fall down ten times, get up eleven. I've reordered the South Beach Diet book; somewhere along the way, I gave away the copy I had. South Beach is a style of eating that has worked well for me in the past and is also the style of eating that my PCP recommended for weight loss and lowering my cholesterol levels. Once the book arrives, I plan to go back on Phase One for two weeks.

Of course I am ALWAYS wanting to lose weight, but I am wanting to get back on track eating-wise for other reasons, too. I'm tired of feeling out of control about my eating and letting my cravings rule me. I'm also tired of feeling tired (again) most of the time: I have slowly slipped back into the habit of having a cup of coffee each morning, primarily because I "need" it to get started mentally. And I continue to be concerned about my high cholesterol (though my behavior may not necessarily demonstrate this concern!).

I've often pondered the differences between those of us who struggle with our weight--currently overweight or not--and those who do not struggle with their weight. It seems to me that these two groups approach food and eating in fundamentally different ways.

MM falls into the second category, so living with him and observing his habits has been a unique experience for me. MM's eating habits aren't what I would consider good or healthy, but in spite of this fact, he has never been more than 5 lbs overweight. He eats candy or other "treats" (HoHo's, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream) once or twice a day; the only vegetables he will eat are romaine lettuce, peas, and cooked tomatoes; he drinks 2-3 cans of Mountain Dew a day; and the list of foods that he won't touch at all is long.

Aside from the fact that the actual foods we eat are quite different in general, I've made a few other observations of ways in which MM's eating habits differ from mine. One is that, unless we have a special night out planned at one of his favorite restaurants, MM rarely looks forward to meals. I, on the other hand, often start looking forward to my next meal just as I've finished my current meal. This is especially true if I know that I am going to be having a food at my next meal that I particularly enjoy.

MM has no problem skipping or delaying meals. If he gets busy, he can "forget" to eat or put it off to the point where he is just starving. I have to eat every 3-4 hours. If I don't, I get physically uncomfortable and get headaches and become entirely consumed with the idea of food. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've "forgotten" to eat, and most of those were associated with periods of extreme stress or grief.

If MM doesn't like the food on his plate, he will leave it there, even if he's hungry. This phenomenon does not occur with me, ever. Many, many times I have finished the food in front of me, even if I didn't love it, or even really like it, simply because I was hungry and the food was there.

MM really doesn't spend any time thinking about food. Sure, he has favorite foods and things that he enjoys eating. . . but he orders the same things at each restaurant we frequent and pretty much buys the same items at the grocery store every week. He never has to make a "grocery list" because his selections don't change much from week to week.

I don't know that MM's behaviors are something I can (or even should) emulate, but they certainly seem to work for him. . . and it's interesting to me how we differ in our approach to food.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I just want a month off

211 (bleh)

I've decided that I need a month off from work. If I had a month off, I would spend the first week sleeping extra and reading for pleasure and the rest of the month doing all the things that I don't have as much time to do as I'd like because I'm working full time. Things like finishing up unpacking and organizing my house, getting my car detailed, dropping off my dry cleaning, assembling furniture.

I truly believe that if there were a viable alternative, I could return to work after my month off refreshed and ready to bill clients like a mo-fo. . . . rather than coming to the office each day with the lack of focus that has been apparent for some weeks now.

Alas! I do not think I can convince the partners in my firm to allow me to take a month-long sabbatical for no other reason than "I'm f&#^in' tired and need some time to catch up on the rest of my life!" And I need my salary. So no month off for me. :-(

I still plan to post photos of the landscaping at some point. The reason I haven't done it yet is that at the moment, I essentially have no home computer. Although my computer and internet connection are both in fine working order, I disconnected them on Saturday evening so that I could move my cheap Ikea desk out of the home office to make room for the very nice, new desk that MM bought for me.

When I read prior to ordering the new desk that it had "assembly required," little did I know what exactly that meant. I did not realize that the assembly would involve connecting at least 85 pieces of wood and pressboard in varying sizes, using various types of fasteners that are ill-identified in the assembly instructions, or that the assembly instructions would have been authored by someone who is clearly not a native speaker of English. Ahem.

An hour plus into starting assembly, I now have many, many pieces of desk laid out in the home office and living room. I am on page 6 of a 20-page assembly instructions manual. (Did I mention that I'm convinced the person who wrote it is not a native English speaker?) The pictures in the manual seldom match the actual items that came in the two large boxes that claimed to hold a desk.

I am not the handiest person in the world, and MM is even worse (so he says). Because MM abhors clutter, and because I want my home office back, I have committed to spending at least 30 minutes each evening on desk assembly. (Which is obviously 30 minutes less each evening that I can spend on anything else.) At this rate, I *might* get the desk assembled before we leave for Maui! ;-)

My mom arrives in town on Thursday. She is staying at my old apartment for the first few weeks she's here--it's still technically still my apartment until November 30th--and I spent a few hours there on Saturday getting the place ready for her. . . . cleaning bathrooms, throwing away trash, packing up more of my stuff to go to the house. (With the exception of three small boxes, I am proud to report that I have now gone through all my stuff left at the old place!) I still need to return to the apartment either tomorrow or Wednesday to drop off clean sheets, a quilt, and plates; and to mop and vacuum and clean out the refrigerator.

I'm looking forward to seeing Mom. And to tell the truth, she really won't care whether the place is clean for her, though she probably will appreciate the sheets, quilt, and plates.

This week should be pretty typical, except that I will be out of the office for a half day and one full day attending continuing legal education programs. Friday is Halloween, and I have yet to even buy pumpkins for us to carve or put out the Halloween decorations that my future MIL so generously provided. In addition to being ready for our expected trick-or-treaters, we are supposed to put in an appearance at a block party one street over on Halloween night. Saturday night MM wants to go to a Coyotes game, and Sunday evening we'll be having dinner with his parents. At some point over the weekend, I need to do some extra work to make up for the slacking I've been doing most of the month of October. And oh yeah, try to finish putting my desk together.

Back to billing. . . .

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oops: jury duty update

A friend commenting on my "Doing my civic duty" post correctly pointed out that I didn't update on the outcome. Sorry to leave y'all hanging. . . .

I got struck. Of course. I'll never know for sure which lawyer struck me, but I have a pretty good idea. As all the excused prospective jurors stood and began to walk out of the courtroom, the female defense attorney and I made eye contact. I smiled and nodded slightly; she smiled back. I am 99% sure she's the one who gave me the axe.

The partners in my firm breathed a collective sigh of relief that they won't have to cover the ten depos I have in the next three weeks themselves and that they aren't going to miss out on three weeks' worth of billing from me. Our office manager told me that it would have been a "hardship" for the firm if I'd been chosen. So everyone is happy. ;-)

One man, one woman

I got my first political phone call of the season this morning on my way to work. I'm actually still a little perplexed about how they got my mobile number. . . but anyhoo.

The conversation started with a man asking for "Mrs." S.B. I informed him that there was no "MRS." S.B. at this number (pet peeve of mine), but that I was S.B. He then apologized for the error, introduced himself, and told me that he wanted to talk to me about Proposition 102 (more info here: http://www.yesformarriage.com/). Essentially, Proposition 102 seeks to amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

As an aside, Arizona law already defines marriage in this way. There is a statute that specifically provides that marriage between two people of the same sex is not permitted, A.R.S. 25-101(C) (http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/25/00101.htm). Arizona is not one of the states in which gay couples have had same-sex marriages performed or where courts have ruled that gay couples have the right to marry. I have not read a single news story about a gay couple even seeking a marriage license in this state, let alone actually getting one and marrying.

I politely interrupted his spiel to tell him that I have already voted. We then had the following exchange.

Caller: Was that a vote for "yes"?
Me: No, it was a vote for "no."
Caller: No, marriage shouldn't be one man and one woman?
Me: No. . . . no, the constitution should not be amended as proposed.
Caller: Oh.
Me: OK, you have a nice day now. Goodbye.

My first inclination was to chuckle. Clearly whoever provided this fellow with names and numbers of people to call did not do their homework: nothing about me would suggest that I am socially conservative or anti-gay, and I am a registered Independent. Why would they think that I would be persuadable on this issue? I'm not even married.

Upon further reflection, though, I found the call more disturbing than amusing. Not only the fact that obviously people are calling voters in an attempt to have this unnecessary and discriminatory proposition passed; that's also disturbing, and I'll address it next.

No, what disturbed me was that the caller didn't seem to know what the amendment is about. A vote for "no" in no way says that the voter supports a new definition of marriage; it merely indicates that the voter does not wish to have the Arizona Constitution amended.

And lest you think I'm getting all lawyerly with the distinction, let me provide the precise language used on the ballot: "A 'no' vote shall have the effect of maintaining the current statutory law of the State of Arizona which prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex, but would not amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman."

I am not against gay marriage. I am not religious, and I don't see how allowing gay couples to marry affects heterosexual couples one iota. As for the idea that allowing gay marriage would ruin the "sanctity" of marriage. . . I have two thoughts on that. One is that marriage, at least as a state-sanctioned union, isn't truly "sanctified." It is a legal construct, an agreement between two consenting adults that is recognized by the government and subject to lots of state laws. If you want your marriage to be sanctified, you can marry in the church, temple, or mosque of your choice. . . but I see that as something separate and distinct from the civil part of marriage, the part with which the state is involved.

Secondly, even if you *do* regard marriage as sanctified, if you look at the rates of adultery and divorce in this country, I think heterosexual couples have already done a darn fine job of ruining the "sanctity" of marriage on their own. It's ludicrous to me to think that allowing two gay adults who love and are committed to one another to marry in any way affects the marriages of heterosexual couples!

I suppose this amendment is an attempt to prevent some "activist judge" in Arizona (do we have those here?!) from following the lead of Massachusetts, California, and some other "blue" states in recognizing gay marriages.

With all that we have going on in our country. . . . is this really something that is worth spending time, money, and attention on?!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sebastian!


It's hard to believe Sebastian is already 7!

(I know that this next remark makes me sound like a "crazy dog person," but it's true.) Even though Sebastian is a dog, he has brought more joy to my life on a consistent basis than most of the people in it. ;-)

Here's to another 7 years, buddy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doing my civic duty

(forgot to weigh before boot camp)

So yesterday I was downtown at the courthouse all day because I was summoned for jury duty. I ended up on a panel of prospective jurors for a three-week murder trial.

The jury selection process wasn't completed yesterday, so we all have to return today at 10:30. Although I think jury duty could be an interesting experience as a general proposition, I really hope I get kicked off this jury: I have lots of stuff scheduled over the next three weeks that would have to be moved, as well as the usual amount of work and deadlines. . . . and all the stuff going on in my non-work life.

You tell me: if you were one of the defense attorneys, would you want me on your jury? Here are the things I have shared so far during the voir dire process:

**I am an attorney.
**I work for a firm that does primarily medical malpractice defense, but one of the active partners in the firm represents the County in several civil rights cases. (The County Attorney's Office is prosecuting this case.)
**I was a prosecutor for two-and-a-half years. Of those, at least a year was spent prosecuting cases involving the sale or distribution of drugs, among other cases. (The case involves allegations of a "drug deal gone bad.")
**I liked being a prosecutor and mainly left the job to make more money elsewhere.
**I am engaged to an adult probation officer.

Because I think I can still be fair and impartial despite all these factors, I have had to honestly answer "yes" when asked that question. I haven't yet been removed "for cause," but I am optimistic that one of the defense attorneys will use a peremptory strike to remove me. . . . the female defense attorney really seemed to not like my background, based on her questioning of me during voir dire.

Ah yes. Good times. . . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Recap

209.2 (not too shabby. . . )

I don't have time for a full-fledged entry, complete with photos of our recently-completed landscaping, but I did want to post a quick recap of the weekend.

**All in all, a successful weekend visit with the parents. My dad and stepmom arrived safely on Friday afternoon. Our weekend visit with them was good: no major disagreements between them and me (or between them); they liked MM; they liked MM's mom, who we met for dinner on Saturday night.

**Our landscaping was completed--even to include MM's pygmy palm--before 4:00 on Friday. I think it looks pretty good, even though the plants are obviously still immature. I took some photos so that I can compare them to what it will look like in 6 months; I'll post those tonight if I get around to it.

**We saw the movie "W" yesterday and thought it was pretty good. Not great, but good.

**We had our holiday/engagement photo session yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, and the light was great. I am optimistic that our photographer was able to get some good shots of us and of Sebastian, too.

**I finally have a LITTLE bit of motivation for work. It's still sub-optimal, but a big improvement over the past couple of weeks. So I hope to crank some things out this week.

**Because I was busy hanging out with the parents all weekend, I have a boatload of household chores to do (stuff that I normally would've done over the weekend): at least 4 loads of laundry to wash and 3 to put away from last week; grocery shopping; dusting; etc. Also, I still need to assemble one of the Ikea bookcases for the living room and now also the desk that arrived on Saturday for the office. MM doesn't do furniture assembly--claims he's bad at it, and I know he's impatient--but has promised to help with the desk at least. Just need to find some time to get to all this stuff.

**I missed boot camp this morning because my alarm didn't go off for some unknown reason! Grrr. . . . I will admit that it was nice to wake up naturally at 6:15, though. I will definitely go again on Wednesday; will set 2 alarms if I have to!!

**Workwise this week should be pretty typical. The only out-of-the-ordinary thing is that I've been summoned for jury duty tomorrow. Ugh.

**Thursday is Sebastian's 7th birthday! I want to do something special for him, but haven't decided what yet. I'm thinking maybe a new treat from Petsmart that I normally wouldn't buy him and an extra trip to the park. (He went to the park 3 times this weekend.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oooh, post #450!

208.6

Wow, when I first started this blog almost three years ago, I'd never have thought I'd have kept it going for 450 posts. Of course, there's a lot about my present life that I wouldn't have predicted back when I started this blog. ;-)

After this morning's session, I am officially halfway through my 4-week boot camp! MM and I went to the gym last night--my first trip to the gym since starting boot camp--and I did one of my usual cardio workouts. I walked briskly on the treadmill, jogging every fourth minute to get my heart rate up.

An interesting thing happened. I noticed that I had to increase my speed and spend more time jogging and less time walking fast in order to get my heart rate up to the desired level. In other words. . . . my usual workout was too easy for me. Yep, that's right! So even though the progress is not obvious to me at the boot camp itself, I must be improving my overall fitness level with these workouts.

Getting up so early is getting easier, too. Don't get me wrong: it's not SO much easier that I'd like to start doing it seven days a week from now on! But I no longer have to drag myself out of bed and drive to boot camp with that awful, icky-tired feeling, and I have more energy during the day than I did before (as long as I go to bed early enough to get at least 7 hours sleep on boot camp days).

Our landscaping is complete! Well, except for one item: MM and I paid extra for him to have a pygmy palm tree behind the spa, and it hasn't been planted yet (though it's obvious that it will be because there's a hole and irrigation tube for it). I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I am one of those people who has a bit of a hard time visualizing what something will look like in real life just from seeing drawings and diagrams, so I wasn't quite sure whether or not I'd be happy with the finished product, even though I picked everything myself. I like it!

The timing for the completion of the landscaping couldn't be better: my dad and stepmom arrive this afternoon. Plus, no one can walk on our newly-laid sod for at least 3 weeks, and it is a little over 4 weeks until the housewarming party I've been hoping to have. . . . which should give the grass plenty of time to get established before the party.

What else to tell? I will be busy with the parents all weekend. I got a summons for jury duty for next Tuesday, so that should be a joy. I seriously doubt that anyone is going to leave me on their jury--in fact, I won't be at all surprised if the judge dismisses me "for cause"--but I still gotta go down to the courthouse and go through the motions.

Hard to believe Halloween is only two weeks from today! This year has gone by fast.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I think MM may need his head examined

MM shared with me at dinner last night that he thinks it would be "really cool" for us to have twins. He's not particular--identical vs. fraternal, boys vs. girls vs. one-of-each--they all sound good to him.

He opined that "it can't be that much more work" than one baby. Ah yes. Spoken by someone who, until about 7 weeks ago, had never even held an infant under 6 months of age and has had EXTREMELY limited contact with babies. MM is an only child, born of two only children, and like most men, he never babysat.

He was disappointed when I didn't jump right in and say I think it'd be "really cool," too. I reminded him that it wouldn't be *his* body carrying, birthing, and nursing two infants at once.

Hmmm. . . .

My blonde boy(s)


I am too lazy to write a post today, but I'm sick of looking at my Columbus Day post.

Instead I share with you a few recent photos of Sebastian. . . . oh, and MM. ;-)



Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day

208.8

I have been at this same weight within 0.2 lbs for three consecutive days. So I'm guessing that any muscle water retention issues have worked themselves out and this is what I actually weigh.

It's pretty friggin' sad that I've been eating reasonably well and busting my a$$ in boot camp to earn this weight. Really, it just supports what I told MM when I started: in order for me to actually lose weight, I have to diet diligently along with exercising regularly. Just one or the other won't do it for me.

While of course I've hoped that I would lose some weight as a result of this boot camp, I am mainly focused on getting more toned and in better general physical condition before our trip to Maui. MM and I want to do some hiking and snorkeling, and I'd like to be in good enough shape for both. Plus my energy level prior to starting boot camp has been sh1tty for sometime, and I'd like to have more energy. (It's hard to say yet whether boot camp has helped with that: any increase in energy the first week was negated by my body's adjustment to getting up 2+ hours earlier than usual.)

This morning's session was legs again. We did some squats and lunges, along with lots of jogging (OK, running for most participants, jogging for me) and lots of exercise I hadn't done before. I am optimistic that I won't have the unlivable level of soreness that I had after last week's legs session: last time I was tightening up and sore within a few hours of the workout; this time, I can tell I worked my legs, but I have no soreness and can walk normally.

My weekend was a bit of a mixed bag. Friday night MM and I went to see the movie Religulous. Saturday I read the book Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon. (Since joining paperbackswap.com, I have a stack of 10-12 novels waiting to be read; this one was in it.) Saturday night we met my friend L and her husband for dinner before going to the Phoenix Coyotes' home opener. A relaxing and fun day.

Sunday I woke up at 5:20 a.m. with a migraine. . . . the first one I've had in months. (The only possible "trigger" I could identify was the ONE margarita I had with dinner on Saturday night. I may have to give up drinking completely! Ugh.) With the migraine, even though I took lots of meds, I felt like a$$ most of the day. Even so, I still managed to get to Ross in the afternoon to buy a new wallet (my old one--6 years old--had a broken zipper on the money compartment). While at Ross, I also bought a new purse and a few tops. . . . all for under $85. MM and I had dinner with his parents in the evening, at which time I was feeling about 90% of normal.

This week should be a pretty normal one. I have to go to Tucson on Thursday afternoon for a court hearing and a deposition there on Friday morning. I am going to stay with my friend L and hope to have dinner with a few other friends there as well.

Friday evening my father and his wife will arrive for a weekend visit. It will be their first time seeing the new house--and Stepmom's first time meeting MM--so I will be spending most of Wednesday evening getting the house prepared. (It's times like this that I'm glad I live with a neatnik; the common areas of the house are almost always clean & uncluttered, thanks to MM.)

Our spa is complete! MM and I used it last night for the first time. It's great! We are optimistic that the landscapers will start (& finish) work this week! ;-)

P.S. I've long thought that Columbus Day is a bit of a weird holiday and at least mildly offensive to Native Americans. What did Columbus really *discover*? People were already living here when he got here!

Well, I guess I should be grateful to him: I wouldn't be here if he hadn't "discovered" America. And even though there were people here already, obviously those living in Europe didn't know about them, and I suppose gaining that knowledge is a "discovery" of sorts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yeah, I'm a bad person

(not even gonna post today's weight)

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but I've held back because I believe some readers might consider me b1tchy and judgmental. Today, though, I finally decided f$&* it! What's the point of my having a blog if I can't write about the things that are on my mind?

I've mentioned before that I regularly visit the message boards on the site where I do my charting. (fertilityfriend.com, for those interested) I first visited the boards out of curiosity and in search of others who were on the same journey. I still find them interesting and enjoy the support. . . . but I'll admit that one of the big draws for me is what *I* perceive to be the craziness.

Example: a woman posted this morning that she got a positive pregnancy test. "We finally did it!" her post read (among other things). Cool. We should all be happy and excited for her, right?

Except that once I read her signature line. . . . the woman already has 8 children. (This is the part where I come across as b1tchy and judgmental.) I'm sorry, but it is a little hard for me to get excited about someone's NINTH pregnancy! Who even *has* nine kids these days? How can two people adequately parent nine children?

And her use of the word "finally"? Her next-oldest child is not even 2 years old! In my opinion, "finally" should be reserved for use by people who have struggled with trying to get pregnant with their first child for at least a year. I get that a month seems like forever when you're trying to get pregnant--believe me, I get that--but please.

I also thought--again, uncharitably--why does this woman even need to use this site? Clearly she has been able to conceive and carry a pregnancy EIGHT previous times!

There are actually quite a number of ladies posting on the message boards who have at least six children. Personally, the most anyone I know in real life has is 5. . . . and I thought that was a lot!

Another post from a few weeks ago was from a woman who was lamenting the fact that she and her husband were having to borrow $25,000 to go through a second round of in-vitro fertilization. The woman had three children under age 8: two were adopted, and one was her biological child conceived through prior use of IVF.

Those responding to her post were full of support and commiseration: "isn't it awful that insurance doesn't pay for this?" "so sorry for what you're going through," etc. But all I could think was "What the f$%^ are you doing?!"

It is one thing to spend money on IVF (or anything else) if you have the money to spare. Clearly that was not the case here, as the poster was having to finance the procedure. It is something else entirely to spend money on IVF when you already have three children for whose care and futures you are responsible. (As a footnote to this woman's original post, I will mention that I recently read that IVF #2 was unsuccessful, and she is getting ready for IVF #3.)

I get the desire to have a biological child. I do. I also get that people might want more than one biological child. But isn't there a point at which using expensive procedures to achieve this becomes a bit selfish? Where is it written that each of us has a right to have as many biological children as we want? We all certainly have the right to TRY, but shouldn't that be tempered by reason and common sense?

I recently read were someone wrote that paying for IVF is akin to buying a raffle ticket, with the grand prize being a successful pregnancy. Despite what many people think, IVF is NOT a guarantee of pregnancy. In fact, the odds of success with IVF can be quite low, depending upon the age of the parents and their specific infertility issues.

I just don't understand it. I have no children of my own (yet), and *I* wouldn't be willing to go $25K into debt for a CHANCE to have A child. . . . let alone a fourth child.

In addition to things like the two examples I've shared, the boards also have all the usual interpersonal drama that one might expect of any online community.

Is it any wonder why I find them entertaining?