Tuesday, April 30, 2013

list of happy

+ a long weekend
+ delicious french toast
+ newport beach film festival
+ time with family
+ belgium waffle
+ seeing old friends from my old job
+ a good irish movie
+ free booze and food
+ seeing my puppy after two days away
+ getting stuff packed up for moving
+ staying in a hotel for the first time in a year
(even if it was only 30 minutes from my house...)
+ catching up on shows
+ panda express love
+ meeting actors with awesome irish accents
+ extra time with mike
+ an ocean view
+ complete fabric organization

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Photo Book (#6)

#6 is complete. I wasn't sure when I was going to be able to complete that one with our finances where they were at. And then Shutterfly sent me a wonderful email with a code for a free hardbound book. And I quickly got to work! I was so excited! This is the second time this year they have sent me a code for something free and I love it!

The free code was for 20 pages and I ended up needing 25 pages so I spent about $14 total on this book that would have been over $40. Perfect! And the quality is fantastic! 

I got a free 2013 calendar from them as well and was expecting it to be kinda cheaply made and I was so impressed with how thick the pages were and how well my pictures printed! 

(this post is totally not sponsored. I just kinda love Shutterfly a lot.)

Here is our total book in order:
our first photography adventure
moving into the apartment (post. post. coffee table post.)
adopting river (post)
orange county fair (post)
labor day
mike's mustache bash (must. get. posted.)
pumpkin patch (post)
birthdays at disneyland
new lens photography day
a collection of some of our favorite iphone pics from the year
1st anniversary celebration (post)

I totally recommend Shutterfly stuff and signing up for their emails. Lots of good coupon codes and free stuff! Love their quality!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

list of happy

+ the truly amazing & heart-filling love i received last week
it meant the world to me. thank you from the bottom of my heart
+ pulling out my 50mm lens for the first time in awhile
+ 10 bird swing straps done
+ 4 pink chevron straps done
+ a ruby's bleu's burger
+ lovin' on my girl
+ new mint polka dot skinnies
+ watching the second episode of The Bible
+ pizza night
+ making film festival plans
+ a new bed for river (that she loves)
+ sunday night dinner with the family
+ oreo milkshakes

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Lady Bits Are Having a Rough Year.

"Baby, if I get cervical cancer can we pay lots of money to freeze my eggs so I may have a chance at having a baby someday?"

"Of course, we'll borrow it if we have to."

Three months ago I went in for my yearly pap smear and came out not thinking much of it. I've been on birth control since I was something like 15 for acne and have had to have these exams for many many years. Its a nuisance but not much more. Until this year.

A week after that exam, I got a phone call from a nurse with horrible "bedside manner" who very short and curtly said "your pap smear test came back with atypical results so you'll need to come back in in three months for another one to retest." I was sick to my stomach but she didn't do much to calm my nerves.

I mentioned it to my family a couple days later and my sister said she'd gone through that, having retests every 3 months for a year and a half and now she's fine. So I let it go, deciding not to worry until worry was needed.

Yesterday the exam came around and, having an important stressful meeting the day before, I didn't give it a lot of thought. I walked into the doctor jittery not sure what to expect but thinking it was just a routine thing that lots of people do. (which is true)

The nurse asked the usual questions and then said "since its just a retest, you only need to undress from the waste down and put this [flimsy paper] blanket over you."

I did as I was told and then, to keep from stressing myself out and overthinking things, did what any normal blogger would do and took pictures and posted them to instagram while I waited.

My doc, who I have been going to since I was a kid and my pediatrician closed up shop, walked in with a smile and said "hi. how are you?" I said I was okay and he said "just okay?" well ya doc, my lady bits are having a rough year thus far and I'm a little unsure here.

He asked if he had talked to me yet about my abnormal pap smear and I told him that he hadn't, I had only spoken to a lady for 2 seconds on the phone and didn't really know what was happening.

And then he said it.

"okay well last time you had a pap smear, you tested positive for HPV." [holding back the freak out here] "this can eventually lead to cervical cancer." [don't cry. ashley. do not cry right now.] "there are a number of steps the body goes through before that happens and the majority of the time, the body being the amazing thing that it is, goes backwards and takes care of itself without anymore to worry about. but we have to take steps to watch it and be proactive regardless." [i don't feel any better. what if i can never have babies?!]

He told me that if this test showed my cells getting better, we would wait another 3 months and test again and go from there. But if it showed the same or worse, I would then need to have a colposcopy where they would look at my cervix under a magnifying glass. (I told him it sounded a lot like a colonoscopy and I had one of those and it wasn't fun so this didn't sound all that great either.)

I'll be honest, he had be freaking out a bit. He's usually so calm and reassuring and this time I just felt like he was trying to break the worst news ever to me gently. I didn't get this overwhelming sense of confidence that everything would be okay like I usually do from him and it really scared me.

We moved forward with the super quick exam (him doing his thing while I was trying to hold myself together just a little longer). He made his notes and left me to get dressed and go home.

As I walked out, I motioned for Mike (who was in the waiting room) that it was time to go. As we pushed open the door he asked me what happened and I just shook my head. He asked again as we neared the car and I just shook my head. We got in (thank goodness he drove) and before starting the car said "come on babe, talk to me" i just shook my head. He said "yes, you have to talk to me" and I finally said "no i can't. i'm okay but i don't want to talk." He said okay and started the car.

I cried the whole way home. Not the sobbing kind just the subtle tear running down my cheek kind.

We got home and Mike finally hugged me so I couldn't get out and made me speak. I said "I have HPV and could end up with cervical cancer." (yes, i do sometimes act a little dramatic.)

We talked about it. He immediately got on his computer and started researching. Found some statistic that 20million some odd people end up with HPV and go through this same thing and rarely does it become anything.

But all I could think about was my number one dream in life of being a mom and what if that can never happen. and yes i could adopt and i think adoption is amazing but i want at least some of my children to look a little like me and inherit my snarky-ness (just not when they're teenagers please) and what if that can't happen. and what if i do get cancer. oh my gosh. it is in my family a lot maybe its my time. i'm young but it happens young too sometimes.

This is the stream of consciousness going through my head all afternoon.

I got ready for the gym and asked Mike on the way out the door if we could freeze my eggs if it comes to that.

And then I let it go.

Because really, I don't have any control over this. I can't make the test results go faster and I can't see the future. I can only trust in Him. And I need to do a better job at remembering and living that.

I called my mom hours later when I knew I wouldn't absolutely lose it in a blubbering mess on the floor (what is it about moms that allow the emotions to run completely free?!) and told her everything. she reminded me to self-talk when the worry becomes too much and, as always, think happy thoughts. A phrase my mom has said to me since I was very very little.

And now I wait. For the next phone call. And I pray. A lot. And try not to freak the heck out. Something my anxiety makes it hard not to do. Sigh.

Here's to my lady bits working their ish out quickly and easily. please.

**Sometimes the only way I can deal with something is by writing it out. Its how I cope and avoid the anxiety causing my body to hold it all in. I'm sorry if any part of this post offended you or if you feel it is too personal a thing to write about. Its just who I am.**

Thoughts on Thursday

• We are moving in 3 weeks. (Yikes!) And we just found out on Monday. We were hoping to move out of our apartment at the end of May and knew we would be out by the end of June no matter what (when our lease is up). But when M went to talk to the leasing office to see if we could be out a month early, they said they had a couple who was interested and we needed to be out by May 7th. And there is a film festival in the middle of that 3 weeks that I will be at. Cue stress.

• Last week at work was a very rough week and it unfortunately has caused the anxiety to return. It has been dormant for a long time (over a year) and I have felt great until last week. Now it's this underlying nagging feeling that I just hate. It's like that feeling that you forgot something when you leave for work in the morning but cannot figure out what. That's what everyday feels like with the anxiety right now. And I'm having a hard time seeing it going away anytime soon. I am trying to make steps to relieve some of the causes of the anxiety (moving out being one) but its such a slow painful process.

• Speaking of moving out and anxiety, we are temporarily moving in with my parents. It is not going to be easy at all. But it is the only viable option right now so we are rolling with the punches and taking one day at a time. With our budget set, we should have all the debts except my school loan (super low interest rate and not much left so not worried at all) paid off by the end of the year and can start rebuilding. It'll be a rough 7 months but worth it I'm sure.

• I cancelled Weight Watchers last night. I stopped using it awhile ago but just officially cancelled it. I have a lot of reasons for doing so but I plan on posting about it next week. In short, I still have a special place in my heart for WW but the new plan is not for me and I'll tell you about it next week.

• There are 5 days left on Ashley's giveaway of my grey chevron with yellow polka dot camera strap over here! Go! Enter! This is what you can win:

Hope you are having a good week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY Wednesday: Anniversary Gift

On Sunday the 14th, my adorable parents celebrated 29 years together.
While making my to-do list on Saturday, I was thinking about making them a card and then decided i wanted to do something more. My sister and I have been casually talking about throwing them a party next year for their 30th so this year I wanted to do something simple but more if that makes sense.

Here's what I came up with:

29 reasons your marriage is one to admire...

I used a mason jar I had on hand and painted the lid with chalkboard paint. (I used 3 coats of chalkboard paint and a wet chalk pen to write the date. I would use a smaller tip pen next time..those pens are a pain!) 

I hot glued the pop lid to the ring and as you can see, some glue seeped out. I tried really hard to get rid of the glue that dried but it wouldn't come off. Oh well. Be careful if you try this. In order to tie it on, I tied the ring on first and then hot-glued them together. Also, I recommend putting the glue on the inside of the ring and not on the edges of the lid... I tried both and the ring was definitely better!

All the graphic-y pieces were made in photoshop. The strips have "number _____ (seven, eight, twenty-nine, etc.) in the background and one reason per strip.
I filled it with their favorite Dark Chocolate M-Ms after arranging the reason strips in the jar first (I found doing it this way to be a lot easier).

Obviously this could be adapted for any occasion you like. It was super simple and other than waiting for the coats of paint to dry, it was a quick project to complete!

Oh and? They loved it! :) Hope you did too ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dog Beach Day!

i'm a little late in posting this pictures since i promised them last week but last week was just a bad week in general. so here they are now.

over my spring break, mike planned a day to take river to the off-leash dog beach in huntington and that girl had more fun than i've ever seen her have. it was so much fun to watch and photograph.
she loves to play. with anyone/dog who will play with her. she is so so playful.
love at first sniff
he put her treat between his teeth and she got it. gross i know. but so cute.
another guy's dog who loved swimming out there and the owner put one of those sports action water cameras around his neck. so cool.
she jumps for her treats now.
i love when i catch her licking her nose. and this picture.
i love them so.

dog beaches are so fun!