Monday, December 24, 2012

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...

On the morning of November 13, 2012, I woke up to this:

I wandered, still half-awake and a bit dazed into our bedroom where David was still lounging in bed, and I handed him the test.  He smiled and announced proudly, "I knew it!  I knew you were pregnant!  My boys can swim!"  I laughed a little... still unsure the test was real.

If I may back track for a moment.  Last November or so, my doctors all told me that I could not/should not have a baby because of the Ulcerative Colitis I suffer with.  I immediately panicked.  I've always wanted to be a mother and I've looked forward to pregnancy.  I immediately started The Specific Carbohydrate Diet to see if changing my eating habits would improve my symptoms.  It did... for a while.

In January, David and I went to an adoption seminar at the local adoption agency, Adopt a New Beginning.  We considered adoption.  We also discussed surrogacy.  Part of both of us still selfishly wanted a biological child.  So, I went into the Fertility Clinic here in Boise to see if surrogacy was an option.  The only fertility doctor in the area, Cristin Slater, told me that I was absolutely healthy enough to do surrogacy, but that she thought I could actually have a healthy child of my own with a little help from her.  She said that she'd help many women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease through a successful pregnancy, and all but one of them actually got better during the pregnancy (The one who didn't get better, didn't get worse, she just didn't get better).  I was THRILLED!  (That said, I feel it is important to tell you that I would NOT recommend seeing Dr. Slater or anyone in her clinic ... they were unprofessional, absentminded, and flaky- one nurse would tell me one thing and another nurse would tell me something completely different which caused more money out of my pocket into their hands.  Also, she overlooked all of my concerns regarding my Ulcerative Colitis, and she rarely saw me herself, even though I was being charged for appointments with her and not her nurse.)

Anyway, I immediately jumped into Dr, Slater's regimen of fertility drugs and ultrasounds, assuming that I would be pregnant by the end of the month.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  After three excruciating months of fertility hormones, they informed me that I had developed a large uterine polyp and I needed surgery to remove it right away.  That was April.  I had it (and another small polyp) removed in May.  The doctor told me I should start right back up on the fertility drugs again in June, but after the emotional roller coaster of the past 5 months, combined with the lack of quality treatment from Dr. Slater's office I decided that I - we needed a break.  AND to make matters worse, the fertility hormones had caused my Ulcerative Colitis to flare, despite my best efforts to keep it in check with diet.  The hormones were just too strong.  In fact, it was the worst flare I'd had in 5 years, and nothing I did was helping to get it back under control.

My doctors and I agreed that I had to get the UC under control before I could safely have a pregnancy.  So in October I started a new Ulcerative Colitis medication called Cimzia.  It is approved for use during pregnancy, so the plan was, to let the medication work its magic for a while, and then I could try to get pregnant again.

However, all the stress I went through on the fertility meds last spring made me loathe trying to use them or trying working with Dr. Slater again.  And the idea of dealing with any stimulating hormones to get me pregnant sounded so awful, we started looking into adoption once more.  In fact we were set on it.  I contacted a lawyer and the adoption agency, and I'd filled out the paperwork.  I was waiting until the new year to submit everything, figuring that then the craziness of my new job at Opera Idaho and the holidays would have died down by then, and I could give the adoption process my full attention.  We were so excited we were going to start a family.

My period was due on November 9th, but when it didn't come I didn't think anything of it, I always fluctuate a day or two.  I was busy painting the walls and ceiling of the room we'd recently remodeled, so I just kept plugging away.  My body felt like I was going to get a visit from "Aunt Flow" at any moment, so I just waited, and didn't think about it.  On Monday, November 12th, I had an acupuncture appointment with my general practitioner.  I called the office in the morning and said, "Look, I don't think I'm pregnant, but my period is late by four or five days as of today, and I know I'm not supposed to have acupuncture in the first trimester if I am pregnant... I figured I should call and say something... so what should I do?"  They asked if I'd taken a pregnancy test.  "No," I said.  I didn't think there was any point because I thought it was just being thrown off by the new medicine.  I didn't have one in the house and I didn't have time to take one before the appointment.  The doctor - Dr. Gail told me to come into the office anyway and she would just do acupressure instead of acupuncture.  She wanted to catch up with my medical history anyway.

I went into the office for my appointment.  Afterwards, Dr. Gail told me that she wanted me to go home and take a pregnancy test and call her with the result the next day.  I somewhat begrudgingly told her I would.  On the way home that night I stopped at the grocery store to buy a few things for dinner, and sat there debating on whether or not to buy a pregnancy test.  I figured as soon as I spent the money I'd get my period... but I picked up a box of two pregnancy tests anyway... deciding that in the end, it couldn't hurt to know for sure.  I decided if there was still no sign of "Aunt Flo" in the morning, I would take the test otherwise I would just save it for another time... Well, you know the rest!


When I called to let Dr. Gail know the test result, I told the nurse that I was still a little unsure because the line wasn't quite as dark as the control line.  She asked how many tests I'd taken.  "Just one," I responded.  She told me to take another test and call her right back.  So I did.  This time the line was darker.  The doctor got on the phone and told me that she was declaring me officially pregnant.  She ordered a blood test for me to confirm the home pregnancy tests, and told me to make an appointment with my OB/Gyn.

I did.  I also called my Gastroenterologist.  I was a little worried because I'd literally just started the new medication and my UC wasn't fully in remission like he wanted it to be.  The nurse said not to worry, and congratulated me.  She said the only thing I had to remember was that I can't breast feed because the UC medicine (Cimzia) I'm on gets into the breast milk, but other than that, I should be fine.  The nurse and I had a good laugh because trying so hard to get pregnant after all this time, it was ironic that I got pregnant now when I'd finally decided to go ahead with the adoption process.  I kept saying "We haven't had sex enough to get pregnant..."  Well... it only takes once!

We decided not to tell our families or anyone anything about the pregnancy until we were given the all clear from the OB/Gyn doctor.  Our sister-in-law, Helena, is also pregnant, and at Thanksgiving we found out that David's cousin Beth is pregnant too, and we felt it would be better to wait and make sure everything was alright with the baby considering all of my health issues, before we made our announcement.  We are all due within months of each other... Helena in May, Beth in June, and me in July.  And, we didn't want anyone to feel weird if something went wrong.

David's parents came out for Thanksgiving and it was REALLY tough not to tell them why I was so tired all the time.  Or why I was running to the bathroom all the time.  But, we just blamed it on the Ulcerative Colitis and the new meds I am taking.  However... we both wanted to shout it from the roof tops!  In retrospect, I'm sure they thought I was SO sick with Colitis though.

On Tuesday, December 7th David and I had our first OB/Gyn appointment.  David and I are both VERY happy with our doctor, Dr. Weyhrich.  By the end of the appointment, he left us feeling very confident.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous... okay, A LOT nervous. But, everything went really well.

I'd been joking about having triplets since we found out I was pregnant, and luckily that wasn't the case.  Just one, very healthy baby with a nice strong heartbeat!

Now that we were given the all clear, we decided to make our announcement extra special.  After all, we were told I couldn't have a baby this time last year.  Here's what we came up with:

A Message in a Bottle

Photo of the Finished "Message in a Baby Bottle"
 Front side of the message

Back side of the message
The messages went out via the mail to everyone in our immediate families on Monday, December 19th.  The postman told me that they would all arrive to their destinations on Thursday or Friday at the latest.  Well, strangely, all of my family received theirs on Wednesday.  David's parents got theirs on Thursday, and David's brother's family on Friday and his sister's family on Saturday.  Each of their responses were really fun!  Squeals, screams, crying, and more.  It was a great way to unveil our secret!

And I'm hoping everyone will feel the need to make extended visits to Idaho next summer to help...  I've done A LOT of free babysitting and free labor over the years, so I plan on cashing in all my "Help" chips next summer... plan accordingly! Wink wink!

I am also pleased to report that my Ulcerative Colitis is back on the road to remission thanks to the Cimzia and getting back on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and the pregnancy.  Our 40 weeks due date is July 21st, however Dr. Weyhrich thinks Boise baby Lopez will make an appearance sometime between 38 and 42 weeks which is July 7th-August 4th, and Ulcerative Colitis patients tend to have babies come earlier than later.  Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers over the course of this journey!  We feel very blessed this holiday season.  Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit!

Have a Happy (and lucky) Holiday Season!

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Time

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I missed getting a post up before the big day.  I think this might be our (David and my) favorite holiday.  This was the 6th Thanksgiving David and I have spent together, which hardly seems possible because I feel like we met just yesterday (and also like we've been together forever)!  Traditionally we spend all day cooking and we go for a nice long hike in the foothills.  We watch movies and just enjoy relaxing.  It's delightful.

Most of the time, my grown-up nephew Cody joins us with a friend or two, but this year, he is spending it with his girlfriend's family.  We missed you Coder!  Instead, David's parents, the infamous Francie and Damaso Lopez, joined us for the festivities.

They arrived on Wednesday evening at 9 pm and left at around 4 am on Monday morning.  It was a fun albeit exhausting long weekend.  But mostly a good time visiting with family.

David, Damaso, and Francie Lopez, Thanksgiving 2012
And, if I do say so myself, this may have been my best Thanksgiving food to date.  I've really got the recipes down pat, and my turkey was superb!  I also got it all cooked in a very timely manner and was able to take a nice long nap while David and his parents went on a hike in the foothills.  When they returned everything was ready to go!

The day after Thanksgiving, we all went to brunch at Le Cafe de Paris and on the way home we bought a Christmas tree.  While David and Damaso watched football, Francie and I got out all of the thousands of Christmas decorations I have (my mother is obsessed and has sent them to me in huge boxes... I think I have enough ornaments for 3 Christmas trees!) And we decorated the entire house.  The tree looks beautiful!

That night Francie decided to sleep on an air mattress in the living room because Damaso was sick, and guess what?  The tree fell over at about 6 am almost crushing Francie in her sleep!  She screamed.  We all came running.  It was actually pretty funny.  We lost only a few ornaments, and luckily Francie came away unscathed.  David and I tied the tree to the wall after that, and it looks good as new.

Damaso, Francie, David, and Anabel Lopez
On the last night of their visit we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Boise, Fork, and then we drove up to Quail Ridge to see the famous massive display of Christmas lights.  Isn't it amazing?!  Chevy Chase has got nothing on this guy.  Damaso thought it was tacky, but I say, although I wouldn't put something like that in my yard, I'm really glad someone else does so we have something to come and see and  it makes the holidays fun!

The next morning I took Damaso and Francie to the airport because at this point, David had caught Damaso's cold and he was sick as a dog and could barely move out of the bed.  They could hardly believe it only took 7 minutes to get to the airport from our house... It was 4am after all.

And just like that, family time was over.

I certainly have so much to be Thankful for... I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving too!  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Middle Earth

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I am a HUGE science fiction geek.  In fact, I convinced my younger brother to name his dog Arwen after the Elf Princess in Lord of the Rings.  I am patiently awaiting the prequel, The Hobbit to hit theaters this December.

Today I came across this fantastic short video by Air New Zealand.  Such awesome creativity from the people of the land they call "Middle Earth", I had to share... enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit!

In honor of the Day of the Dead... and wishing you a lucky November!

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nerdy or Sexy?

Last week I went in to get my eyes checked, and it turns out I have perfect vision in my left eye, but an astigmatism in my right eye.  (Which was apparently causing what I thought was mild dyslexia). So the eye doc put some crazy drops in my eyes and told me to go pick out some glasses.  

I couldn't see after the first two minutes with the drops in my eyes, so I depended on the girls at the shop and some photo emails back and forth to David to pick out a good pair.  After narrowing it down to a few, it suddenly occurred to me to ask how much they cost.  OMG!  I had now idea glasses were so pricey.  One pair was more than $650... I almost fainted (literally, the eye drops were really bothering me and I thought I was going to pass out).  

In the end I went with the least expensive pair they had in stock and combined with the co-pay from our insurance I still shelled out a pretty penny - no where near 600 smackers, but I was still surprised by the price.  

I picked them up on Wednesday, so as of today I've had glasses for three days.  I'm still getting used to them.  My doctor says I have to wear them everyday for a month, and then when I'm working on the computer and driving, or as needed.  

Day One

Day Three
I've had a few people tell me I look like a sexy librarian, and actually, one lady at my job said my new code name was "The Librarian".  However, my husband told me not to tell people that he helped pick them out... not that he doesn't like them, but he wants to make that point clear... and my dad just plain doesn't like them.

Either way, its amazing how good I thought my vision was versus how much better it is now.  And its just the one eye... my left eye was doing all the work.  I guess, in the end, being able to see better is really all that matters, but my vanity is a little unsure at the moment.     

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Margarita Day!

Not many people know that the famously delicious drink, the Margarita, was named for the famous actress, Rita Hayworth (aka Margarita Carmen Cansino).  There is still some debate about this... but... we'll just claim it as fact.  Today, October 17, 2012 would be Rita's 94th birthday.


Because I adore both Rita and Margaritas, I dub October 17th, Margarita Day.  I hope you'll all raise (at least) one delicious glass (even if its a virgin) to one amazing lady to celebrate her birthday.

And in case you don't know... this is my favorite scene from my favorite film, Gilda, starring Miss Hayworth in her most famous role.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Linus and the "Cone of Shame"

A couple of weeks ago our dog, Linus broke his toe.  Well, his dew claw to be exact.  This was the second or third time it happened in his short 3 years of life, and each time caused him more pain.  We decided it was in his (and our pocketbook's) best interest to just have them removed.  Frankly, we should have had them removed when he was a puppy, but after reading the awesome dog book by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, I didn't have the heart to do it at the time... even now I feel a little guilty.

Here is an excerpt from the book, in case you haven't read it:
"I’ll give you a theory: Man’s closest relative is not the chimpanzee, as the TV people believe, but is, in fact, the dog.
Witness my logic:
Case-in-Point #1: The Dew ClawIt is my opinion that the so-called dew claw, which is often snipped off a dog’s foreleg at an early age, is actually evidence of a pre-emergent thumb. Further, I believe that men have systematically bred the thumb out of certain lines of dog through an elaborate process called “selective breeding”, simply in order to prevent dogs from evolving into dexterous, and therefore “dangerous”, mammals.
I also believe that man’s continued domestication (if you care to use that silly euphemism) of dogs is motivated by fear: fear that dogs, left to evolve on their own, would, in fact, develop thumbs and smaller tongues, and therefore would be superior to men, who are slow and cumbersome, standing erect as they do. This is why dogs must live under the constant supervision of people, and are immediately put to death when found living on their own.
From what Denny has told me about the government and its inner workings, it is my belief that this despicable plan was hatched in a back room of none other than the White House, probably by an evil adviser to a president of questionable moral and intellectual fortitude, and probably with the correct assessment — unfortunately, made from a position of fear-driven paranoia rather than of spiritual insight — that all dogs are progressively inclined regarding social issues. 
Case-in-Point #2: The WerewolfThe full moon rises. The fog clings to the lowest branches of the spruce trees. The man steps out of the darkest corner of the forest and finds himself transformed into… A monkey? I think not."

Linus is a big baby about everything, especially the vet (I blame David, who spoils him rotten) so I was especially worried about how he would handle surgery.  When I picked him up, the vet brought our little drugged-up boy out to see me... with a cone on his head.  Between the drugs and the cone, Linus would hardly move.  It was so sad.

I couldn't help but laugh at his drunken swagger and his lack of spacial awareness due to the cone.  He ran into everything!  I text-ed David immediately and told him Linus was wearing the "cone of shame."  This is another pop culture reference to the animated film, "Up."

Today, Linus is finally getting his stitches removed!  And hopefully no more cone... and no more vet bills!

Wish him luck!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Opera Idaho

So, I know... I have been very bad about writing the past few months.  Actually, I have had plenty to write about... but I seem to have gotten side-tracked.  There is lots going on in my world, but the most exciting news is that I have a new job as the Marketing and Development Manager at Opera Idaho.  I started last week, and I absolutely LOVE it.

I have my own office with a window that gets soft north facing light, and throughout the day I hear soft melodies of singers and choirs rehearsing in the rehearsal space down the hall.  Plus, I'm working in the arts again and I can't tell you how happy that makes me.  No more politics for me!  Well, at least government politics!

I have to admit, I've never thought much about Opera- not that I didn't like it, I do (most of it), but it just wasn't on my radar.  Now that it is, I'm certainly learning a lot and I am finding it very romantic and lovely.  It's not so much that the work is different, but the mentality of the people I work with that is different.  Working in the arts has such a strong effect on the soul... I am so busy I sometimes forget to eat, and yet, I'm happier in my work than I've been in years.  And that is reflected in everything else I do.

If you are local, be sure to check out Opera Idaho's 2012-2013 Season starting with the opera Falstaff at the end of October.  If you aren't, its just one more reason to visit Boise!

In the meantime, I have to get back to work!  There is a lot to do between our Auction of Arias fundraiser on October 12th, our Operatini event on October 18th, and the first opera of the season, Falstaff on October 26th and 28th.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Have a lucky October and a Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rosa's Bella Cucina... Rosa and Rico on a Roll

Hey all,

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to be friends with the amazing Rosa Graziano.  We've grown apart over the years of living in very different places, but I still absolutely love that Facebook has allowed us to keep an eye out on what each of us is up to.  And she's always up to something fun.

Not too long ago, Rosa and her brother Rico (whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting) started a gourmet food truck called Rosa's Bella Cucina.  Rosa is an amazing cook, so although I haven't been to LA since she opened the doors, I can only imagine how delectable the food is.

More importantly, Rosa has finally been tapped into for her other, equally amazing talent, her incredible sense of humor and big personality.  Check out the new show: Rosa and Rico... On a Roll on HungryYoutube every Wednesday through mid October.

Here is the first episode which aired on September 12th:

One of my fondest memories of Rosa is from the day I was first diagnosed with Colitis.  I had fainted and was rushed to the hospital by my younger brother Morgan.  He wasn't too excited to be in the hospital so instead, my two closest girlfriends at the time, Rosa and Laura, convinced the ER to let them both into the ER to be with me.  They usually only let one person in at a time, but as you can see from the above, Rosa can be very persuasive.

I was on a Morphine drip due to the pain in my shoulder and gut... which totally sucked.  But, combined with the complete and utter awesomeness of Rosa and Laura feeding off each other to keep the mood light and keep me smiling, I was able to shut out the pain and fear I was struggling to suppress.  Instead of being scared, I was hysterically laughing... to the point where I was laughing so hard it hurt.  Despite that day being one of the scariest of my young life, because of Rosa (and Laura), I was able to get through it, and I actually look back on that day smiling.

I wish her the best success, and I am so excited for her new show... Please be sure to tune in.    

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Incredible Incredible

I have to write and tell you all about my truly incredible HTC Incredible smart phone.

I had a meeting downtown so I jumped on my scooter.  When I got there, I couldn't find my phone so I assumed I must have left it at home by accident.  When the meeting was finished, about an hour later, I went straight home to find it because I had some calls to make as soon as possible.

It was no where to be found.

After a very thorough search of our entire house, including emailing my husband and a few friends asking them to call me on it, I decided to retrace my steps fearing that it was gone for good.  I got on my scooter and started driving slowly the same route I drove to my meeting... about 10 blocks down the road there it was... in five pieces all over the road on 13th Street in front of the Stinker Station.

I sadly picked up the pieces hoping that I could at least salvage some of the information on the SD card and I took it home.

When I arrived home I decided I needed to see if I could maybe get it to turn on... so I put the pieces together with some handy duct tape and powered it on.

To my utter amazement, it turned on... and with complete functionality.  Could it be?  I tried a call to my mom.  It worked perfectly!  The "slightly" scratched camera even worked!  I couldn't believe it!

And it's been an unbelievable conversation starter... no one can believe it still functions so perfectly.

Thank you to HTC for making such a quality product I can count on.  My renewal date is still a long way off, so until then, I am happy to say, my HTC Incredible works like a charm despite almost complete annihilation.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

September 3rd was my birthday.  This year I had the best, most fun and playful birthday ever... thanks to my WONDERFUL, KIND, and LOVING husband David who took me to Vegas.
The entire trip was supposed to be a surprise, but after a little argument over me spoiling the end of a book we both read, the surprised accidentally slipped out.  Oops!

But that was all that spilled out.  Try as I might, I couldn't get any more information out of him... I wasn't told where we were staying or eating or what we were doing there.  David kept his mouth shut tight and I agreed not to ask too many questions so as not to ruin the surprise... and oh was it a surprise!

David and me in front of the Bellagio
Ric and Blake in front of the Bellagio
On the flight down to Vegas, David told me he wasn't really up for spending all of our time in Vegas, and thought a better use of our time would be to rent a car and drive down to Palm Springs for the day and go hiking.  Although I was a bit bummed by this idea, I agreed to go along with it, because you never know what fun will ensue... well that was just a misdirect.

Our hotel... we were on the 25th floor
We arrived at our hotel (The Palms) around noon and checked in.  Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we wandered out to the pool and then through the casino.  David and I both had to use the bathroom so we headed to the nearest one near the back of the casino.  As I was walking into the bathroom I swear I saw my friend Ric (my best girl Blake's hubby) but how could that be-they were in San Francisco... so I did a double take thinking "And that looks like Blake too," and then triple take where I yelled, "Blake, what the hell?!"
Blake and me at the Aria
Ric reflexively curled up into a little ball like if he didn't move I wouldn't see him.  David had arranged for Blake and Ric to fly into Vegas too.  It was such an AWESOME surprise.  They had other plans on how we would meet up... but it was just so amazing to run into them and have them there, I was elated!

Having drinks at Aria
Then when we sat down to lunch, David announced that he had just had a call from his brother Andrew and by chance, Andrew and his wife Helena would be flying into Vegas the next night for a conference for Helena's work, so they'd get to celebrate with us as well (I can't believe I forgot to snap a picture of all of us together- ugh!).  I could hardly believe it... too much fun for words.
Ric and David shopping!
The vacation involved pool time, lots of blackjack (Blake was the big winner), amazing food, fun shopping (The Forum at Caesar's is unreal)... and most importantly spending time with great friends.  I was really sad to say good-bye... It was the best trip... I can't wait to do it again!

Thank you to my wonderful husband and friends for making my birthday so special!  Love you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit!

Have a delightful (and lucky) September everyone.  September has always been my favorite month of the year.  Sorry for the lack of posts in August... I've got so much to catch you all up on... but first...

Don't for get to Rabbit rabbit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit!

Have a Lucky August!
And try to stay cool in all this heat!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Getting in gear...

I recently signed up for this really cool website called Lumosity.  It's a tool to help build memory, speed, attention, flexibility, and problem solving... and most importantly to help ward off dementia.  My great-grandmother had dementia and my uncle was recently diagnosed as well, so I'd like to do everything in my power to avoid that fate myself.  The thing I like about Lumosity is that they give you just a few exercising everyday, and track your progress.  It's actually fun!   I also play Scrabble (aka Words with Friends, Lexulous, and Wordscraper) everyday, which helps with spelling and configurations...

What are your favorite ways to keep your brain sharp?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On this day...

Two years ago was the day we said, "I do." 

 I love you David Lopez!

Thank you for the B-E-A-U-tiful flowers!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rabbit Rabbit!

Happy July Everyone... I hope you have a lucky month... and stay cool in this heat!

Friday, June 29, 2012


spend·thrift  (spndthrft)
n.       One who spends money recklessly or wastefully.
adj.    Wasteful or extravagant: spendthrift bureaucrats.

Do you have a good or bad relationship with money?  I have a bad one.  I used to love to spend it, but now I pretty much just hate everything about it.  I've seen it ruin too many people, too many families.  Almost every fight I can think of between my parents had to do with how money was spent.  One parent was a financial whiz the other not so much, and the combination was explosive.  Actually, for a long time, it was the only thing I fought about with my parents and I remember vowing that I would never... fill in the blank.  Hell, now look, I think it might be the only thing my husband and I ever fight about.  And with David and I, at least at this point, its not so much that we fight about it, but it tends to be at the forefront of every conversation we have.

It's not that I don't understand the concept of being financially viable.  I get it.  It's been pounded into my head my entire life.  So much so that in many respects, its paralyzed me when I've tried to move forward in my life.  What I mean is I was never making the kind of money I "should be," so I started looking for the first thing I could find that would make me more money so I could get to where I "should be" and then go back to what I wanted to do.  This of course took me further and further away from what I'd originally set out to do.  And because I kept getting further and further from what I was interested in doing, I suddenly found myself completely unsure of what it was I was originally trying to accomplish in the first place... with no place to move forward to and no place to go back to... I became stuck.  It's like quicksand... the more you struggle to get out of it, the worse it gets!

Plus, where money is concerned, having Ulcerative Colitis doesn't help.  Doctor's bills and medicines and nutritional supplements are all expensive.  The money adds up fast.  And try as I might, I can never quite get a handle on what is "okay" to spend money on and what isn't.  And just when I think I've got it figured out... I've gone and done something stupid all over again.  IT'S SO FRUSTRATING!

At this point, the very thought of money makes me sick to my stomach-- unless its the thought of winning the lottery so I can be financially free, AND help my family and friends get there as well.  That's a thought that I think about at least 1000 times a day.  God that would be nice!

I used to stress shop.  It started when I lived in New York.  I'd go into all these great shops and try on a bunch of pretty things to take my mind off what ever was bothering me.  I wouldn't necessarily buy anything (okay sometimes I would), but I mostly loved going into stores to experience all the newness and look at myself from a different perspective.  I miss that.  

Now the idea of going into a store, any store-- not to mention a mall makes me have to run to the bathroom.  Seriously, I hardly remember the last time I was able to get out of the grocery store without having to go to the can at least once.  Yes, again, I do have UC, but my doctors tell me they think that is more of a mind-body connection than a UC symptom... Stress creates symptoms.  So I pretty much try to do my shopping online these days.

David and I are trying to find our way to better financial freedom.  It's not easy.  I found this website I want to try out called  Has anyone tried it?  It helps you manage your food budget by creating menus for you based on grocery store sale items near you.  It looks pretty impressive.  I've also found that I do better if I turn over my credit/debit cards to my husband and only use cash... so Bon voyage Mastercard and Visa... it was nice knowing you!  And I also have to focus really hard on setting up office meetings rather than coffees or lunches... those add up faster than medical bills and I am the worst offender.  

More than anything I want to achieve our dreams and goals of having a family and traveling abroad and building our dream home and... the list goes on.  I know we can achieve those goals... it's just going to take a lot of intense determination and focus to do it.  Wish us luck!  Oh, and if you have any budgeting tips I'm all ears!