Three Squared

Today is the 9 year anniversary of the day I met my wife. It’s also our 6 year wedding anniversary.

I don’t know what I’d do without my Catch. I don’t know who I’d be. I don’t even want to know.

It feels like we’ve grown up together over these past years. The difference between 24 and 33 is pretty significant. At 24, we were most concerned with who was bringing the vodka and how soon we could take each others clothes off. Actually, maybe that’s a bad example because we still worry about those things–although vodka is often replaced with wine, so surely that’s a sign of maturity, no?

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank the universe for this woman—my partner—my wife—my best friend. I would not trade the life we have together for anything in the world.

I framed this picture from our recent camping trip for her for our anniversary. We were up early that morning to go fishing at Donner Lake. I was wandering with my camera, and Catch was behind me, fishing pole in hand. The sun was rising, and the lake was quiet and still. It was in that moment that it occurred to me that no matter where this year leads us, we will be just fine. As long as I can share these moments with her, my life will be complete.

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Happy anniversary, my love.  There’s no one I’d rather be lost with.

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It’s Not a Sprint

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One Step Forward:

Last week, I ate more wonderful food than should be legal within the span of 7 days. 

There was the chile relleno on a loaded plate bigger than my head at Sadie’s in Albuquerque

Then there was pollo adovada (and a margarita) at El Pinto in Albuquerque. (My assistant had the carne adovada and it was AMAZING.)

I ate every last bite of the incredible stuffed Portobello mushroom I had for lunch (with a perfect glass of pinot grigio) at Season’s in Albuquerque.

For Valentine’s Day, Catch and I celebrated at home with our favorite cheese fondue recipe and cupcakes from our favorite local cupcake place, Yummy Cupcakes.

We spent Saturday & Sunday at my in-laws place in the San Diego area, and on Saturday night, I enjoyed the carnitas at a little place called Añejo

All of that is a long way of saying, “Weight Watchers, what?”  You can imagine how terrified I was to step on the scale for our regular weigh-in yesterday.

BUT, courtesy of my newfound love of running (still can’t get used to that) I managed to maintain.  Actually, I lost one tenth of a pound—a whopping 1.6 ounces.  Fist pump!

In between plates, airports, time zones, obligatory romance, and traffic, I managed to jog 12 miles last week.  That may not seem like a lot if you’re a “real” runner, but for me it’s HUGE. 

Mind you, I’m SLOW.  Yesterday, I challenged myself to jog a 5k on the treadmill and I managed to do the whole thing (with no walking) in 44 minutes.  That’s a pace of 14:11 per mile.  SLOW.  But I’m doing it, and I am ridiculously, insanely proud of myself. 

One Step Back:

I was floating on a cloud of weight loss and exercise, feeling pretty invincible.  My past few cycles have been NORMAL.  Normal for me, anyway.  I’ve been ovulating.  Cycles have been about 31 days.  It’s all been pretty textbook. 

Granted, I did two rounds of clomid in Ocober/November, so in the back of my mind I knew that my cycle success could just be the clomid working its way through my system.  I chose to credit weight loss instead.

Unfortunately, today is CD 35.  I’ve had EWCM since Friday.  There was a bit of random spotting on Saturday that got my hopes up, but only EWCM since then.  It’s totally bizarre because I never have EWCM before my period.  Looks like Clomid wins this bet.

All along, I’ve been planning for our insemination cycle to start around March 20th.  That’s what it would have been if my cycles had stayed on track.   Now I have no idea where we’re going to end up.  I could start my period tomorrow, or I could start in two weeks.   

I’m trying not to make this speed bump into an obstacle.  Considering the journey we’ve been on, it’s par for the course.  No matter how much control I attempt to take over my body, I am ultimately at the mercy of my biology.  There are plenty more things I could be doing—accupuncture, gluten-free, etc.—but I’m trying to take one step at a time.  One slow step.  Eventually, we’ll win the marathon.

Just Enough

I don’t feel right talking about how perfect our weekend in
Cambria was because poor Catch was so sick—but even so, it was pretty perfect.  I think Catch’s horrid cold
really forced us to lay low and not run ourselves ragged trying to SEE ALL THE THINGS.

We ate dinner at the same restaurant two nights in a row because a) it was fantastic, and b) it was a 3-minute walk from our hotel.  Not very adventurous, but totally indulgent.

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There was wine.  We sat on a blanket and rested our backs against a giant piece of driftwood and drank wine out of plastic hotel cups as the sun set.

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There were seals–everywhere.  Sunning themselves on rocks.  Playing on the beach. 

Seals

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There were tidepools filled with starfish and neon colored anemones.

Starfish

Tidepools

Naps were taken while the fireplace flickered.  Cider was sipped as the fog rolled in and settled for the night.

Catch picked out yarn from a local shop and requested a new hat for winter dog walks.   

We even stopped and picked a few baskets of apples in an orchard on our way home. 

Apple_orchard

Weekends like this don't come along often, and I am trying my hardest to hold onto it.  I needed this.  We needed this. 

I popped that first clomid last night with a sip of water, a quick kiss from Catch, and a silent prayer.  I love these weekends away, but I would have been just as happy to be the couple across from us at lunch playing with a giggling baby girl as I was to be the sunset couple on the beach.

Road Trip – In a Nutshell

I could write a book about our recent road trip.  Having a July anniversary has given us an excuse for some fantastic summer vacations. This wasn't an Alaskan cruise, but it was still a fantastic way to mark the 5 year anniversary of our (real) wedding (also the 8 year anniversary of our first date.)

We left on Friday afternoon and made it all the way from California, through Nevada, a snippet of Arizona and into Richfield Utah that night.  We had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at an Applebee's in some random little town in Utah around 9 pm. Oddly enough, it's not the first time we've had a less than mediocre anniversary dinner at Applebee's in some random little town off a highway around 9 pm.  

After day 1, things improved dramatically and we found ourselves here:

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(Spotted Wolf Canyon, Utah)

And then finally, here–my sister in law's ranch house near Fort Collins, CO:

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This guy's name is Phil.  He cracke me up.  If 80s hair bands were comprised of chickens, Phil would have found his calling for sure.

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I love it there because I get to dote on the horses… it's all my little girl fantasises come true!

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We left Fort Collins a few days later and headed through Wyoming and into Hill City South Dakota.  

We saw the Crazy Horse Monument

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Mount Rushmore 

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We rode the "1880s Train" (pretty self explanatory)

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Saw a gazillion deer everywhere we went

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Had a few drinks…

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Visited Sturgis just a few days shy of Bike Week (I didn't feel out of place AT ALL)

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And finally, hit the road again toward home, stopping along the way in…

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For a night of camping here:

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Under these:

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I'd say we have a knack for taking some pretty fantastic trips.  

 

Foxen, Take II

Central_coast_wine_blog

Central California wine country is new territory for me
& Catch.  We love heading off on
little weekend escapes, but usually our wine escapes involve the Temecula
Valley
.  It’s easy to get to and
reasonable to stay there.

Then, at my birthday dinner last year, my mom brought along
a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir from Foxen Vineyards.  I LOVED that wine.  Enough that I didn’t want to let my brother
have any sips of mine.  It was too good
to be wasted on a barely nineteen year old. 
(His birthday is the day after mine. We are almost exactly 12 years
apart in age.  My stepmother says she “suffered
through an extra day of pregnancy just for me” so that we wouldn’t share the
same birthday, but I think it would have been awesome if we’d shared birthdays.)

Back to my point…

Foxen_blog

I finally got to take Catch to Foxen on our trip last weekend,
and she loved it as much as I do.  It’s a
fantastic winery. 

My favorite “new” taste from our trip was the 2010 La
Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir
.  Yum.  Throw it in storage for a few years and it’ll
be even better.  I would buy a case, but
even with our wine club discount, I can’t afford it!

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Yes, those are temporary tattoos on the counter, and yes, we both wore them proudly.

Cambria Winery

While we were in Santa Maria, we found ourselves driving through wine country contemplating stopping at another winery, but undecided.  We saw a sign for Cambria, made a sharp turn up a hill, ran over a snake (!), and decided to go for it.  

Here's a snippet of the scenery from the top of the hill…

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We were greeted in the tasting room by two friendly ladies who were so nice–the customer service was excellent.  I was already feeling tipsy from our previous stops, so we agreed to just share a tasting.  

We both enjoyed the 2011 Tempusquet Pinot Gris–it was very light and crisp. It would be perfect for sipping on the back patio in late spring/early summer.  I was certain it was going to make our "buy" list, but at the end of the tasting, it was actually a Chardonnay that won us over. And let me tell you–I am NOT a Chardonnay drinker.

The 2011 Clone 76 Chardonnay caught me off guard.  I was fully prepared to dislike it.  I just prefer my whites to be not-so-oaky.  But this wine–all I can say is that it tastes like butter.  Really.  That's the most memorable thing about it.  I vaguely recall pineapple, but butter is what stands out in my mind. We only bought one bottle, but I'm already trying to plan the perfect meal to go with it.

We both thought the 2010 Bench Break Pinot Noir was nice, but not very memorable.  I thought for sure that we'd take a bottle of the Clone 115 Pinot home, but in the end, it was the 2010 Clone 23 Pinot that won us over.  I can't wait to find the perfect meal for that one. The tasting notes indicate cherry-cola, smoke, and spice and I totally agree.

I am looking forward to a chance to bring my mom by for a tasting.  I'm curious what she'll think.

11,608

That’s how many days of my life I managed to avoid the state
of Texas.

Now, I’m in the process of recovering from a business trip
to Dallas, where the chocolate chip cookies are as big as your head, the
internet bandwidth is as slow as molasses, and the cocktails are as plentiful
as the wide open spaces.

Hence the recovery part. 
Man, oh man, have I been reminded that I am not 23 anymore.  Not even close.  Gone are the days when I could party all
night on a Tuesday and still be up for work a few hours later. 

We stayed at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine (just outside of
Dallas) and it is quite a hotel!  A great
place to stay with kids.  Totally
self-contained—you could check in for a nice long weekend and never need to
leave.  This was the view I had of the
atrium from my balcony.  They had photo
ops with the characters from Madagascar, and a water park with a lazy river—I even
saw housekeeping walking around distributing balloon animals to the rooms that
had kids in them.

Photo

All that aside, what I really took away from Texas was
higher cholesterol and a hangover. 

Last night, Catch told me that she worked out every day while
I was gone, and I felt so guilty.  The
closest I came to working out involved a brief stint on the dance floor with an
80s cover band.  And I don’t dance when I’m
sober, so I don’t think it counts in the least.

I did bring the basal thermometer and tried to keep up with
charting my temperature, but I was keeping such odd hours and doing such horrible
things to my liver that my fertility chart looks more like a cardiogram.  There is something seriously wrong with
popping prenatal vitamins in the morning when you’re pretty sure you’re still
drunk from the night before.

I am not 23 anymore. 
I am not 23 anymore.  I am not 23
anymore.

Peer pressure, man—it’s a doozy.

Point being—now that I am back in La La Land, it’s time to
rid my body of Texas.  It’s time to remember
that we want to be MOMS, and that my SOBER, HEALTHY body is our best shot at
making that happen.

Getaway

My mom and I have been trying to find the time to get up to one of our new favorite wineries for months.  It's just a few hours outside of L.A., but we when we managed to make our schedules line up, there'd be rain in the froecast.  We were envisioning a picnic lunch with a bottle of wine in the sunshine, and a rainy weekend wasn't going to cut it.

Then, Saturday happened.  We left her house around 9:30, and by 11:30, we were headed into the rolling green hills of Foxen Canyon near Santa Maria.  We tasted wine until we couldn't stand it anymore, and then turned around and headed to our hotel room in Santa Barbara.  It was about 40 minutes away from where we were, and on our way, I took us on a detour through another canyon I had discovered while camping with Catch a few weeks ago.  

We drove up and up until we ended up high in the hills with a slightly hazy, slightly sunny, beautifully green view of the Pacific Ocean…

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When we'd had enough of the wind threatening to blow us right out of the hills, we headed to our hotel and found it situated across the street from the beach.

Our room was on the ground floor with a patio overlooking pristine grass, palm trees and sparkling blue ocean.

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I wish I'd taken some photos while we were wine tasting, but I was so wrapped up in the wine and the rustic scenery that I never took my camera out.  I did manage a few photos at the beach, though…

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I came away from the weekend with eight bottles of wine from Foxen Vineyard and a few more from Kenneth Volk.  It was a perfect weekend–the kind you want to try to tuck into a bottle so that you can take a sip and remember the feeling of the warm sun and the smell of the wine and the ocean anytime you want.

Horses

I was one of those little girls who wanted a pony more than anything in the world.  I had plastic horses.  I had a friend next door to my Nana who had horses.  I wanted a pony.

I got to spend some time with my sister in law's horses in Colorado over Thanksgiving, and I fell in love with horses all over again.  They really are the most amazing animals.  Strong, sensitive, and with big personalities–I could sit and watch them for hours.  

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Anniversary

Catch and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago—on the same day as the anniversary of the day we met 7 years ago.

I was grateful for a quiet evening this year. We stayed home and made cheese fondue (and then chocolate fondue) and drank a bottle of my favorite white wine. We ordered a movie on cable, snuggled on the couch, and just enjoyed the night.

It’s amazing how time flies. Sometimes, it feels like we can’t possibly have met seven years ago—that’s 2,555 days—where did they all go? 

In seven years, we have traveled together to:

Oregon—from Portland to Salem to wine country to the Oregon coast

Oregon

Washington

Space_needle

Alaska

Colorado

Colorado snow

Nevada—From Vegas & Reno to Virginia City

Virginia City

Mexico—Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada

Mazatlan

Canada

Canada

And within California, we’ve visited San Diego, fallen in love with North Lake Tahoe, rafted on the Truckee & American Rivers, and camped in the Sequoia National Forest, Big Sur, Oxnard, Goleta, Ojai, & Santa Barbara

Big sur

(Big Sur)

Sequoias

(Sequoias)

Tahoe

(Lake Tahoe)

Sandiego

(San Diego)

We have lived together in 3 different homes and planted vegetable gardens in all of them.

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(our first vegetable garden)

We went from no dogs to one dog to two dogs, and currently, we’ve applied to foster with our local basset hound rescue group.

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We got engaged.

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We got married for real.

Hands

We got married for fake.

Fake_werdding

We’ve bought cars, picked out furniture, lost weight, gained weight, made new friends, and lost old friends.

We’ve been to funerals—my grandmother, then her grandmother, her uncle, then my uncle, then my grandfather, and then her uncle.

We’ve lounged and danced and laughed and cried and fought and made up.

We’ve been broke and then not, and then broke again and then not.

We’ve put holes in walls—accidentally and on purpose.

We've learned to like love wine.

Wine

I have learned the ins and outs of softball, and she has learned to laugh when she sits on a knitting needle.

It’s a good life, this one we have. No question about it.