Wrapping It Up


Rolo isn't feeling very festive tonight.


I don’t want to pigeonhole 2013.  It’s had its moments—good and bad—and it’s not fair to hold all of the bad things against it.

I’ve been through the negatives here already, and I’d like to close the door on that right now and focus on some of the really great things that happened in 2013.

  1. Catch and I worked through our fears and are both thrilled at the prospect of adding a baby to our dynamic.  It’s nice to be on the same page.
  2. We helped our local basset rescue by fostering and re-homing Buttercup, Sammy, and Gidget. Gidget
  3. We took trips! Our longest took us to Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. We also enjoyed a few camping trips to El Capitan and Frazier Park.  There were weekend getaways, too—wine country near Santa Maria/Pismo Beach and the more recent trip to Cambria.  It was all amazing and I have so many great memories of our explorations this year.  I even took my first ever trip to Texas this year (without Catch.) Rushmore
  4. We celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary (on our 8-year dating anniversary). Even at our absolute worst marital moments (not that there are many), I can’t imagine my life without my wonderful wife.  I love her more with every passing year. 
  5. I read/listened to some fantastic books! Some of my favorites were Silver Linings Playbook (way better than the movie), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I’d read it before, but this time I listened to the audiobook and it was even better), Carry On, Warrior, and The Fault in Our Stars.  Other reads that weren’t necessarily favorites, but were still quite worthwhile:  Truth in Advertising, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Bloom, and Gone Girl.
  6. I got to add another person to my team at work and was promoted. 
  7. I learned a ton about TTC and I feel confident going into 2014 that we will figure this out.
  8. I cooked and baked a ton.  Some of my favorite new recipes this year were Turkey & Spinach Meatballs (great with spaghetti squash & marinara sauce), Pioneer Woman’s chocolate sheet cake (, Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Waffles, and the Lemon Almond Streamliner Cake from the book Vintage Cakes
  9. We grew a fantastic vegetable garden full of tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and herbs.  Carrots
  10. I got more comfortable with my camera and took some great photos. Cambria Flowers

Still, I'm glad to show 2013 the door–if only for the promise that 2014 brings.  I hope 2014 is good to all of us. 

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A (not-so) Vintage Cake
El Capitan


I took last week off from work, but I feel like I'd be better rested if I'd just gone into the office instead.  We've been going non-stop since Monday, and it shows.

I've spent the last two days in some sort of manic episode–too exhausted and emotional to sleep, so I just keep going, going, going.  I even cleaned out the junk drawer.  It's been pure madness.  I tried to take a nap yesterday afternoon–my whole body ached and I was totally exhausted, but I just laid there wide awake for 45 minutes until I gave up.  Super fun.

Last night, we had two of our close friend/neighbors over for dinner, and courtesy of my inability to rest, the house looked great, the kitchen was clean despite the cooking, and I even broke out the good china, crystal and my grandmother's silver.

Photo-3 2

Dinner was lovely, but one of our friends is about to lose her mom to cancer, so there were many, many tears.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better.  I can't stand that either of them are in this much pain–I just ache for them.  It's hard to watch a good friend sobbing on your couch and know that there's nothing you can do to make it better.  We're here, of course–we hugged and tissued and soothed–but it's all so superficial compared to what she's dealing with.  

This week has been so heavy.  I'm attending another funeral today, and all I can do is hope that when 2014 shows its face next week, it will bring some relief.  I am so ready for a new year. 

Merry Christmas

Oh, Christmas… you have kicked my ass this year.  You really have.  I can't even remember the last time I was so physically and emotionally exhausted.  I'm sure it's been years.  

First, let me just say that my company holiday party was phenomenal.  So beautiful.  We checked in to the Four Seasons and they upgraded my already comped room to a suite, which was about as decadent as it gets.  Living room, bar, guest bathroom, separate bedroom with a bathroom bigger than my living room.  There was an espresso machine, gorgeous hardwood floors and the best part–remote controls for the curtains.  An hour after we checked in, we were greeted with a cheese platter and a bottle of wine.  I could get used to that life.  Unfortunately, we had to check out and return home the next morning.  Not before I enjoyed some room service eggs benedict, though.  (Weight Watchers what?)

I made this all happen:




How gorgeous are these flowers?


The living room area of our hotel room:


All those lovely things aside, we were simultaneously dealing with the death of Catch's grandfather while my Nana was hospitalized for two weeks with a systemic infection.  Nana was released from the hospital temporarily on Christmas Eve, but is back today having exploratory surgery to see if they can determine the cause of the infection.  

The funeral for Catch's grandfather was yesterday.  The day started with a rosary and mass at 9 am, followed by burial at a veterans cemetery 90 minutes away and a reception with the family at the home of one of her aunts.  It was a long day following several previous long days. With both emotions and exhaustion running high, all I can say is that it didn't end well.  I wish more than anything that I could have a do-over, but I can't.  

My cousin went into labor last night, which added more fuel to my emotional fire.  I want so badly to be happy and excited for her, but it's so hard when I am already run down and insanely jealous.  I'm trying, though. I really am.  

I also got word last night that my grandmother's best friend passed away, so I have another funeral to attend on Sunday.  

When it rains, it pours.  

I hope all of you had a lovely holiday.  Since this post was such a downer, allow me to leave you with our holiday card…


Here's another gratuitous shot of the hounds enjoying their Christmas present (ok, it was Catch's present, but we all know it was really for them…)  This wagon is the greatest thing ever.  It even has a canopy on it, and it folds up SO easily.  LOVE IT.


Never a Dull Moment

I am at the peak of my busiest time of the year at work, hence the extended absence here. The busy time comes to a close on Friday night, when 200 people attend the formal holiday party I’ve been planning since last December.   There is truly no hell like trying to arrange 200 of your coworkers at tables of 10.  It’s like planning a wedding EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  It’ll be a nice evening for sure, but the thing I’m looking forward to most is collapsing into my bed at the Four Seasons post-party.  They seriously have the best beds. Here’s a sneak peak at the decor of a few previous events to give you an idea.



That aside, life seems to be on board with us taking time off from TTC, as it’s thrown us every curve ball in the book lately.  Catch’s grandfather passed away last week on Wednesday, and my nana was admitted to the hospital that Friday and has been there ever since battling a mystery infection.  The death has hit Catch pretty hard and brought up a lot of the past for me. Then when my only remaining grandparent got so sick, it pushed me over the edge even more.  I desperately want our future baby to meet my nana.  We can’t lose her now. 

All of that added to the normal stress of the holidays and my craziness at work has made me glad we’ve put the OPKs away for the time being. 

My doctor appointment was moved up to tomorrow, and I’m desperately hoping for some answers and guidance on this PCOS nightmare.  The original appointment I’ve been waiting weeks for was scheduled for the 26th, but that’s the day of my grandfather in law’s funeral service so I called and begged them to change it.  Fortunately, they were very nice and squeezed me in sooner rather than later. 

On the weight loss front, over the past 5 weeks I’ve lost 11.9 lbs.  I’m pretty proud of that.  It’s not easy LOSING weight over the holidays, but we’re sticking with it and it’s paying off. Catch is down 14.9!  That’s not to say we don’t have our moments, though.  Yesterday, I had a meltdown in the form of some dark chocolate covered see’s caramels and two margaritas, but I’m in the middle of my period and had the worst cramps.  I’m only human.  These things happen.  Back on the wagon today.

I hope everyone’s doing well and surviving the holidays!

Hanging by a Thread

Even though we’re taking some time off from actively TTC, I’m still charting.  Yesterday, I started noticing some ovulatory symptoms, so I took an OPK and got a positive.  I woke up this morning with a stabbing pain on my right side, so I’m pretty sure the OPK knew what it was talking about this time around.

I wasn’t prepared for how sad it would make me.  Part of me wanted to call the clinic and beg them to squeeze me in for an insemination.  At the same time, I remembered that it’s Monday, which is our weigh-in day since starting Weight Watchers, and it provided enough distraction to get me out of bed. 

I was actually excited to step on the scale because I truly worked my ass off this week.  I did indulge on Thanksgiving, but I kept myself in control, and I tracked every last drop.  We went out to dinner on Friday night with Catch’s family and I did the same.  I exercised like a mad woman, stepping up the intensity of my workouts all week. 

I moved the scale into the kitchen and settled it squarely on the kitchen floor (the most level surface in our house).  I stepped on and waited. 

I gained a pound.

I moved the scale all over the house, and consistently got the same number.  Eventually, I gave up, sat down on the couch and cried.

Catch, who has been stealing bits of chocolate cake form the fridge since Wednesday, lost enough that she won’t even tell me how much.

I went back to bed and cried some more. 

I know it’s just one week.  One lousy weigh-in.  I know there could be other factors at play, and I hope to god there are because if I have to work this hard just to GAIN weight, I might as well throw in the towel now.

I needed to see a smaller number on the scale this morning.  A reminder that I’m on the right track.  That this will pay off.  That all of the meal planning and grocery shopping and cooking and declined lunches with friends and miles on the treadmill are worth it because they’re moving me closer to the most important goal I’ve ever had in my life… motherhood. 

Instead, I’m left feeling like a deflated balloon and looking like an over-inflated one. 

Score one for the universe. Way to kick me when I'm down.