Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What to do above the bed

We have lived in our house for over a year, and it's slowly coming together and becoming exactly what we want our home to be. One of the things we've been the most stumped about is what to put above our bed.

This is what we have so far. We discussed photos, a triptych of photos. A shelf with photos. Some sort of quote. Finally we both agreed that a round mirror might look nice.

I have found several that I kind of like, but I'm not quite sure. What do you think?

This one is at Amazon and its white and mirror. I'm not sure the white will really work because everything in our room is cream. But I like the style.

This one is also at Amazon. I think I might like it the best, the sort of flower-like pattern. I want something that's round, but has more style to it, more of a shape than just a plain circle.

This one, also at Amazon, I'm not sure what the color is, but I like the overall shape, except that it might look too much like a snowflake. What do we think?

This is sort of where the round mirror inspiration came from:

Isn't that lovely? From Centsational Girl. We don't have the windows, but it's the same kind of idea.

Also, this one:

This one is set up pretty similar to our room with the same shaped headboard and a nightstand on each side. The lamps are even similar to ours. (Unfortunately, I don't know whose photo this is. I'm sorry. I'm trying very hard to give credit where it's due because Pinterest can be so bad about losing origination, so if this is your photo, please let me know so I can give you credit. Thanks!)

And for the sake of argument, in case you don't like the mirror idea at all, here are some other options we have talked about for that space.

This one is from Design Loves Detail. We like the idea of the canvases, but not the one in the middle, maybe just three of us. But then is that a little too narcissistic? Giant photos of us above our bed? Maybe not....?

I think this is quite a cute idea. The initials over the bed. Not in black because there's no black allowed in our room, but it might be a simple way to personalize...and fill...the space. I also kind of want to hang some photos above or next to our lamps or maybe just set them on the nightstands? I even got two really cute perfect-for-our-room frames from World Market.  (Again I can't find the source for this other than Pinterest. Please let me know if it is yours.)

Of course, I love the bird pillow in this one, but the frame with the hanging photos is super cute! Maybe we could add in our initials somewhere. I don't know. It just jumped out at me. This one is from Life Made Lovely.

So those are our ideas. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Things to be happy about 2/25

Life seems to have hit a crazy patch. Tons of projects around the house, weekend trips, birthday parties, client meetings, business planning, and babies ready to be born! I can't believe it's already almost March!

I thought in the midst of all the chaos, it might be a good time to express some gratitude and remember why this life is so darn good.

1. Fishing with my family! I caught this baby a couple of weekend's ago on my brother's boat!

2. There's going to be a new baby! Gia will be born any day now!

3. Tomorrow is Wednesday! And that means two things this week: Indian Buffet! And the rain is supposed to start. Come on, rain! I am actually sitting in my office with the AIR CONDITIONER on today. Can you believe that?

4. Coffee, coffee COFFEE!!!  I sure do love this coffee! I got one of those k-cups for the Mr. K that allows me to use my own coffee and it's just wonderful.

5. I finished a major writing project last night. I'm pretty excited about it, but I'm not going to give you any more info than that.

6. Friends and family! We got to see some this past weekend that we don't see very often and it was wonderful!

7. Our new compost box! Jim and I...ok, mostly Jim...made it over the weekend. Then on Sunday we cleaned up the whole yard, cleared the spot for it and put it to work! I can't wait to get started on the rest of the yard. We have big plans!

8. Home-ownership. I love having a house that we can do whatever we want to. I love putting holes in the walls (you know, ones that belong there!), painting, landscaping, pulling out trees to replace with new ones. It's a big responsibility, but it's so worth it!

9. This weather! I can't help it. It feels like May and it's fabulous, even though we need the rain (as mentioned in item number 3).

10. As always, my husband. The love of my life and my partner in crime. I don't know where I'd be without him. He caught a fish too, but not an edible one.

Well, there's my list. What are YOU happy about today?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's never too late to start the day over

My mom tells me this. It's something she learned and has used in her life whenever "One of those days" shows up with her morning tea. She also claims you can start your day over as many times as necessary.

Today I needed a serious restart. I woke up in the foulest mood, picked a fight with Jim, cried my way to work and then flew by the driveway when I decided I needed an attitude adjustment before I showed up and spewed my bad mood all over everyone else.

As it turns out, all I needed was a dose of this view (although slightly different because this was taken in the spring, not winter) and a cup of coffee and good conversation with a dear friend to restart my day on the right track.

Do you ever have those days? What do you do to restart your day?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ok, I'm ready to talk about it

Most of you don't know this. I briefly mentioned it in a previous post, but didn't go into details. I haven't wanted to talk about it. I didn't want the pity, the "Oh, you poor thing. You could have died!" And I didn't know what to say, how I really felt about it all. But three full months have gone by, and I think I'm ready to share with you my thoughts and feeling on my experience.

This is going to be long, and since I don't have any related photos, I'm just going to post random ones to break up the text.

See, at the end of October I was in the hospital. I was having difficulty breathing and then, suddenly, I started to have pain in my right calf. I went to the doctor when I was convinced the breathing issues weren't stress related (It was a VERY stressful time for me) and with a quick ultrasound to my leg, it was determined: I had blood clots.

The breathing issues were due to pulmonary emboli, tiny chunks of the blood clot from my leg that had made their way up to my lungs. The doctor at the hospital told me I was lucky. 1 in 3 people who have this condition don't survive it.

Fortunately (if you can look at it that way...) my youngest brother had suffered the same thing two years ago and the doctors knew what to look for, things they wouldn't normally look for in a healthy, young person.

So I got a lovely little shot of a drug called Lovenox and a little red pill (Coumadin) and got to try out some fun chest-scanning technology, followed by a full-service one-night stay at the hospital, something I haven't done since the day I was born.

My recovery has been gradual. The first week was excruciating. I had pain in my side similar to a running cramp that just wouldn't go away. And the pain in my leg was so bad that, by the 5th hour after taking a dose of Tylenol I was watching the clock, wriggling in pain, cheeks stained with tears, waiting to take that next dose. It kept me up at night, so along with being in a lot of pain, my days were spent in a foul mood. I had no appetite. I could do nothing more than lie on the couch and wait for the hours to pass.

By the second week, the pain had subsided enough to sleep. And to go back to work. My lung capacity wasn't (and still really isn't) back to 100% so going up and down stairs was tough. Since my office is upstairs, just going down to use the restroom presented a challenge.

Toward the end of my first month, I finally got an appointment with a hematologist, who said I needed to change medications. At the hospital, they prescribed me a newer drug called Xarelto. There were no dietary restriction and no monitoring with it. But also no antidote, which meant that if I had a serious bleeding episode (like a bad car accident), there was no way to get my blood to clot. Scary.
The hemo wanted me on Coumadin, which meant while my levels were getting to where they needed to be, I had to go in for daily injections of that lovely Lovenox drug I had in the hospital. It was nasty. The needle itself was not bad, but the burning that lasted about 15 minutes after the needle was removed was not any kind of fun. I had to have 9 of those injections before my levels were good.

This was the two weeks before Christmas. Meanwhile, I got the flu. I had to go in for blood draws and injections while I had a raging fever and wanted nothing more than to be crashed out in bed.
I was afraid I'd have to go in on Christmas. Fortunately for me, Christmas Eve I got my second reading within range and my last Lovenox shot. Since then, life has gotten a little bit closer to normal. I have to take a pill (or a pill and a half) every day and go back for regular blood draws to make sure my dosage is still good, but that's about it.

In the midst of all that, I learned a little bit about why this happened. There were some situational things, like the long car ride from Southern California, the fact that I took birth control and I have a sitting job. From blood tests I learned that, like my brother, I have a genetic abnormality that affects the way my blood clots. It gives us roughly a 2% increase in the chances of developing a blood clot, and since I have two different abnormalities, my changes are higher although they can't tell me exactly how much higher.

This means for the rest of my life, I have to worry about clots. I have to change my entire lifestyle to ensure I don't encourage another blood clot. That entails making sure I drink enough water, get up enough times throughout the day, don't cross my legs, wear compression stockings if I travel, basically do all I can to make sure my blood continues to flow steadily through my veins.

It's an adjustment, one with many implications and consequences if I get it wrong.
But those are just the facts. Beyond them lies the part that gets personal. What does all of this mean to me?

When I finally took the time to sit down and contemplate all of this, I was surprised by my reaction, as surprised as I was when I was so relaxed and chill the morning before our wedding.

This isn't the end of the world. I'm still very much alive and this isn't going to kill me (as long as I do what I'm supposed to). So many people seemed to think I should feel angry or resentful. The honest truth is that the question of "why me?" never crossed my mind.

Does this suck? Sure. I miss my birth control pills like you wouldn't believe (I'm actually kind of a baby about it). I hate getting pricked  by needles and I have a standing order for blood draws now. I have to take a scary pill every day that saves my life in one moment, but could take it in another (it prevents blood from clotting, so I could bleed to death). It sucks. But I can live with it.

There was a moment around my third or fourth injection of Lovenox, just before Christmas, where I was struck with the most keen sense of gratitude for my situation. As I walked toward the door after my shot, holding my belly where the medicine still stung, I looked around the room. It was filled with people in chairs just like the one I'd just gotten up from, except most of them were the for cancer treatments. Long, painful and scary infusions of nasty stuff they hoped would save their lives. And I realized how lucky I was. I let my hand fall from my stomach and took a moment to thank God that I was there for a little shot in my belly and not a massively scary long term treatment for cancer.

I don't feel sorry for myself. I thank God every day that I'm still alive, that modern medicine granted me a life longer than 30 years. I'm learning not to take it for granted, that every moment is unique. Some are good, some are painful, but all of them contribute to who we are and the life we live.

So yes, my life is changed. Yes, there are some new complications. But I'm still alive. And life is pretty darn good. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Could you pass the U.S. Citizenship test?

I like to click on random things I find on Facebook. Today alone I checked out a girl who quit her job via a series of photos with her holding up a white board with a different message on each photo, a quiz to see which state I should be living in and then I clicked this one on the website of one of our local news stations, KCRA.

I've known a couple of people in my lifetime who have either taken the U.S. Citizenship test or talked about someone they knew taking it. I went through the public school system, so I learned all about this country's history, politics, etc, but I've never given it much though.

It's not the actual test, just a slideshow of sample questions. When I clicked the link, I was sure I'd fail miserably. I've been out of school for a long time and I've got no other pressing reason to remember what president was in office during which war, but I surprised myself and had the answers to most of the questions.

Take a look, give it a whirl. And then let me know how you did.