2013 in Review

I’ve seen several posts on Facebook about how terrible 2013 was for many people. I’m very sorry for everyone who had a rough year… but mine has been great! 2012 was more difficult for me, and I guess the first half of 2013 was a bit trying as well, but oeverall, the good definitely outweighs the bad.

January

On New Year’s Day, I turned 32. At that time I was undergoing fertility testing after 2+ years of trying to get pregnant with no luck. This was not very enjoyable. Fertility testing is painful, both physically and emotionally.

A good thing that happened in January was that we got the band together! I’d been wanting to try to form this group since Fest of 2012, and in January it finally came together, and I’m very happy it did!

February

In February we had our first practices with the band, and Rob and I took a trip to Mexico.

Being romanced by a pirate in Mexico

Being romanced by a pirate in Mexico

March

In March, Rob had a surgery that was designed to improve our fertility. I was pretty optimistic about the success of the surgery, but it was also difficult because it definitely was not guaranteed to help, and both of our doctors were already implying that IVF might be our best hope, which made it difficult to maintain my optimism. I was so proud of Rob though– he underwent the surgery very willingly and without any complaint.

In March my BFF also revealed to me that she was pregnant. Although I was of course really happy for her, I couldn’t help feeling simultaneously sad for myself– a most unpleasant state of affairs.

April

In April, we adopted our second dog, Gilly. I’m happy to report that things are still going great with him! Trip was jealous at first of his new little brother, and he still gets jealous over toys and cuddle time with us, but every day they are becoming more and more like a pack. They haven’t quite reached the point where they will cuddle together, but Trip will now tolerate Gilly being right next to him on the couch. He also gives Gilly kisses on the nose, which is pretty sweet. We’re still working with Gilly on his mouthing and jumping, but overall he’s a pretty well-behaved pup, and he is only 2, so he’s still a young thing.
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Reflections on Infertility

My best friend called me last night to tell me that she is pregnant. She was very sensitive about it—she knows how we’re struggling to conceive, and I’m sure she was apprehensive about telling me her good news. She was very encouraging, pointing out that in our lives we’ve had a tendency to unintentionally do everything at the same time, and that since she’s pregnant, I’m bound to get pregnant any day. It was very sweet of her, and I am happy for her, but the news was still very hard for me to hear. It makes me feel terrible because I wish I could be totally happy for her without contaminating it with selfish sadness for myself. But I can’t.

When I told my husband the news, I could tell he didn’t know how to react. He said, “That’s good…for her… I’m sorry.” 😀 He did his best, truly—I know I’m a barrel of contradictions. I told him basically what I said above, that it sucks because I am happy for her, but it’s tainted by my sadness for myself. He reacted to that by saying he’s sorry that “he’s the problem” and that he didn’t get checked out earlier, etc.

I can understand that—- I’m sure he’s feeling a little bit upset that it seems that our fertility issue is on his side. But there are two problems with this reaction. The first is that I don’t blame him at all for our fertility challenges. Even though they haven’t found anything amiss with me, I could still have an issue as well, and even if the issue is only on his side, it’s not his fault! It’s not like he tried to grow a varicocele, and he had the surgery willingly and without hesitation, so he’s doing all he can. So I don’t want him to feel like I blame him, because I completely do not!

The other issue with his reaction to my lukewarm sharing of my BFF’s good news is a bit more his ‘fault,’ but again I can’t really blame him… I am a confusing mess. But that at that moment, I really just needed support, not for him to make the issue about him. I just needed him to hold me and say something supportive and encouraging, like “It’s okay to feel how you feel and it doesn’t make you a bad friend.”

New Dog

This past week has been very busy. We brought home a new puppy (pit bull/American bulldog mix) last Sunday, and man, I’d forgotten how much work a new dog can be! Our new puppy, Odo, is not even that young—he’s 7 months—but he and Trip together are kind of a handful!

The week was also difficult because, as is not unusual during times of stress, my spouse and I had a big fight. But we talked it out, and ultimately I think it will be good to have 2 dogs. Odo and Trip play really well together—they love wrestling, running in the yard and playing tug. One of the main reasons we got the second dog is that Trip has soo much energy (even though Odo’s the puppy, Trip is usually the one instigating the play!), and we just can’t take him to the park every day, which is the only thing that really tires him out. So far, it seems like Odo will help with that! Trip is still not sure about accepting Odo as a member of the pack, especially sharing cuddle time with him, but I think he’ll get there. It’s hard being an older sibling.

Odo’s a cutie pie. He loooves cuddling, and will immediately jump up on the couch next to me or the spouse when we sit down, curl up and go to sleep. (Trip doesn’t like that because he’s usually not fast enough to get a spot by the human, if there’s only one of us on the couch, or if we are both there, he seems to want his choice of human.) Odo also likes to cuddle under covers—we’ve been letting the dogs come up in our bed with me when the spouse leaves for work this past week, so we don’t have to re-kennel Odo or worry about them chewing stuff up downstairs. Odo jumps up into bed and tries to wiggle down under the covers . I’m kind of afraid he won’t be able to breathe, but it doesn’t seem to bother him.

Boudoir Consult

Had this a week or so ago. It was nice because she scheduled it at a coffee shop that is literally like a mile from my house. I’d never been there before, but it was a nice place. Will have to go back. I was planning to walk or ride my bike down there, but then my friend invited me over to see her new place afterwards, and while that is still in St Paul, it’s a bit further so I decided to drive. But still, it was cool– I had that consult meeting, then I went to buy tickets to Circus Juventas because it was near my friend’s house, then I went to her place, all without leaving St Paul! How awesome is that!

Anyway, back to the consult. It was still kind of awkward, because while the coffee shop was almost empty, it was very long, narrow, and quiet, so I felt like wherever I sat, either these two dudes that were there or the barista would overhear our conversation. I decided I’d rather have the barista overhear than two random guys though, so I sat near the counter. Some old guy came in later and sat at the table right next to us, though, so I’m sure he heard the entire conversation. But whatever.

So then the photographer, April, showed up, and showed me a little video of her work. We talked about the process and she asked me some questions like what is my style/fashion sense like, what parts of my body do I like or not like, and which parts does my husband like. The style question was easy enough… romantic, slightly vintage/Victorian/Steampunk/Renaissance, with some edginess for contrast. I like my hair; don’t like my bum or stomach. Husband likes my hair and eyes… I don’t know, I guess he likes my butt too but I really don’t understand why! Then again, I’ve never really understood the appeal of butts. (But I do like his, so I guess….)

We then talked about the process… I’m supposed to send pictures of make-up and hair styles that I like to my “style team” (sounds so fancy!!). The price of the photo shoot includes full hair and make-up, which was a requirement for me because I am not good at doing those things myself! I thought about doing the cheaper package that didn’t include that, but as long as I am doing this I figured I should do it right.

Southwest Road Trip, Car Trouble Fiasco

After our night in Santa Fe, we got up and headed on our way to spend a night in Denver with another of my spouse’s cousins. I took a turn at driving, and although I am not used to driving stick, I did fine on the flat ground. Then we got into a mountain pass, and we wanted to switch drivers, but there was nowhere to pull over because all the pull-off stations were closed due to wildfires. When we finally found one, it was on a pretty steep incline. As I pulled into it, simultaneously trying to downshift and stop, there was a large ‘pop’. This was the sound of the clutch going out. It was probably my fault.

My spouse was able to drive the car far enough to get us into a town (Trinidad, CO, to be specific), and then we pulled over and got towed to a repair shop. While they looked at our car, we went to get some lunch:

At the coffee shop, we noticed an interesting door/art project in the window, and found out that there was this fundraiser going on, where local artists had decorated doors and they were placed in random shop windows throughout the town. People were supposed to go around and find all the doors (there was a list of all doors, but not which shops they were in) and vote on which one was their favorite. Ingenious plan, really – not only did the sale of the artwork benefit a local charity, local businesses also benefitted from people going around looking for the doors being obliged to look in all the shop windows! Anyway, we found all the doors, but given our current circumstances (as well as our admiration for Captain Junior of the F/V Seabrooke and his laid back “It is what it is” attitude), the first door, which was in the coffee shop’s window, still won our vote as favorite. It was entitled, “You know….. it is what it is.” That mantra helped us keep thing sin perspective as we dealt with a super annoying and expensive car repair….

Some random pics of Trinidad (actually a pretty nice little town):

Finally, the auto shop told us that they couldn’t fix it, so we really had no choice but to be towed to the closest Audi dealership, which was in Colorado Springs. 2 hours in the back seat of an un-airconditioned tow truck, and $471 dollars, later, we arrived at the Audi dealership about 10 minutes before they closed. They luckily were open on Saturday, and they said they could work on it then, or we’d have been stuck there until Monday. So we went and got a hotel, went in the hot tub, had dinner, and called it a night. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to Denver to see the cousins.