Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Navigating Early and Lately

"Fly fishing is not about catching the fish.  It is about enjoying the water, the breeze, the fish swimming all around.  If you catch one, good.  If you don't...that is even better.  That mean you come out and get to try all over again."

- Clare Vanderpool
Navigating Early

Last week I read one of my favorite books of the past few years (in fact, I'm adding it to my top 10 of all time)- Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool.  It's the story of Jack Baker, a Kansas boy who moves to Maine to attend boarding school at the end of WWII.  His mother has passed away and his dad is in the navy.  At school he meets a boy named Early Auden who (against any expectations) becomes his friend, mentor and side-kick.  

Early and Jack embark on an adventure quest together over fall break and end up meeting a cast of interesting characters along the way.  One of the men they meet happens to save them from a near-death experience in the river and lets them stay with him as they recover.  He is a Norwegian with a penchant for fly fishing and a knack for giving great advice.  

As they're fishing together and getting frustrated about the lack of catch, he says the quote above.  I read it over and over again.  "If you don't...that is even better.  That mean you come out and get to try all over again."  Have you ever heard anything more beautiful, simple, and true in all your life?  

I'm adding it to my list of mottos.  It's sort of a take on "come what may and love it," but it resonates more with me somehow.  

I've never been great at enjoying the journey.  I tend to be a "look ahead" person rather than a "enjoy the moment" person and I think it's probably my only constant regret.  I'm working hard to remain positive when things are hard and to enjoy the opportunity to try things again that didn't work the first time.  

It's hard sometimes, though, to be positive.  Take yesterday, for example.  I went grocery shopping and got in a car accident on the way home.  I won't get into the details, but the story ends with the woman who hit me telling the cops "I had foot surgery on Friday, so my foot hurt too much to put enough pressure on the brake to stop."  

I'm a bit shaken up and not wanting to drive anytime soon.  But I'm safe and the car is just a car, so I really should just be grateful.  I'm lucky that she hit me where she did and that there was a safe place to pull over.  

But enough about the sad state of our Honda.

What I really mean to say is: go buy yourself a copy of Navigating Early.  If you're like me, you'll want to read it over and over again.

Friday, June 20, 2014


On Tuesday my friend Anna texted me to ask if I would take some photos of her newborn, Simon.

My first reaction was to laugh.  If you have seen the photos on this blog, I'm sure it's obvious why I found it hilarious.  I am not even close to being a decent photographer.  Heck, "not even close" doesn't quite describe my lack of photographic talent.

But it sounded like a fun project, so armed with Blake's camera and pages full of Pinterest ideas, we spent the morning trying to do justice to beautiful baby Simon.  I took over a hundred photos, and probably only got a handful of decent ones.  Oh well. A few is all you need, right?

Anna is a photoshop guru, so she's going to edit the ones she likes.  That'll probably make them look halfway decent.  For now though, here are a few of my favorites sans photoshop.  Isn't Simon just the sweetest little guy?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A list

This week has been a scorcher.  We had a wonderful long spring, but it's fairly obvious that summer is here to stay.

I've been trying to stay cool by keeping myself busy inside, or taking cold showers after being outside.  So here's a list of what I've been up to.  Yes, it's a list sort of a day.

1.  On Monday I could tell that I needed a good therapeutic cry, so after I finished all my Monday cleaning I took myself to a matinee screening of The Fault in Our Stars.  I was one of three people in the theater and we all ugly-cried and sniffled our way through it.  It wasn't quite as beautiful as the book, but I do think they did a lovely job.

There's nothing quite like showing up at a movie theater at 11:00 a.m. on a Monday with a coupon in hand and still paying $8.50 for your movie.  $8.50!  I mean, I know I'm old, but I remember when full-price movies were $6.50 and I thought that was a total rip-off even then!  Crikey! I really am ancient.

2.  Except not ancient, as illustrated by the next happening.

Tuesday afternoon I was out watering my garden (we planted a garden and some blueberry bushes this year!) in the sweaty, blistering heat, when two teenaged girls walked up.  I was holding a gushing hose in my hands and one said to me "so, you must like gardening, huh?"  I sort of wanted to punch her in the face.  Yes...I totally enjoy being bug-bitten and having sweat drip down the side of my face and into my ears.  It's totally enjoyable.

Strike one.

Strike two was "are you parents home?"

"Um no"

"Do you know when they'll be home."

"No, I don't actually, because they don't live here.  I own this house."

"Oh, well can we see your electricity bill?  We're here from the power company."

It then took me almost ten minutes to get them away from me (all while I'm holding a hose, of course).  They wouldn't take no for an answer, but also wouldn't direct me to a website or leave me a flyer.  Methinks this smacks of scam.  I hate that stuff.  Stop bothering me while I'm obviously busy, people! Maybe I should have turned the hose on them.  They actually probably would have been more pleased than annoyed - it was that hot.

3.  I went swimming at Blake's parents' house yesterday and Bear is finally getting comfortable on the first step.  He was hot enough that he seemed interested in doing more swimming.  He'd come to the edge of the step and put his billowing paws out in the void - like a test swim.  So, I put his harness on (we call it is "suit") and held him up while he paddled around.  I think it still scared him, but it's progress.

And that's just one of many reasons why I need to have a child: I'm giving my dog swimming lessons.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Field of Dreams

Sorry for the radio silence lately.  You'll be glad to know, however, that it's been a very productive silence.

We received bad news about our last IVF cycle last Friday.  I had a nice ugly-cry for a while, then turned to the interwebs to read all about my new protocol for this coming cycle.  Let me tell you, the internet is a great and calming place to a gal doing IVF.  There are so many chat rooms, message boards, blog posts, and articles that I can browse to my heart's content.

About twenty minutes after I got off the phone with the doctor, my parents arrived at our house direct from their flight from Italy (they'd been there for the 10 previous days for work).  So we all had another good cry.  It was a soggy day.

But the best part of their coming to town was that we got a mini vacation.  It took me a couple days to start feeling normal again as the meds left my system, but then we had a grand time together.

We tagged along with the BYU Law group to see West Side Story at the National Theater.  I'd forgotten all of the fun music in that show.  That said, this particular interpretation of the show was pretty darn dark and depressing.  Also, it's hard to buy guys as tough gang members when they're so obviously teeny dude ballerinas.  The Sharks and Jets have never looked less intimidating.

We also ate out at all our favorite places with my parents.  Pacci's Trattoria (it says something that even though my parents had been in Italy for 10 days, they still wanted to eat here right away), District Taco, Parkway Deli, and Seasons 52.  It was a busy, and full, week.

My Dad left the day after the conference ended, but my mom stayed an extra couple days to hang out.  It was the first week in a long time that I haven't been abundantly medicated.  I can't tell you how wonderful it's been to start feeling more normal.  Even though I'd be happy to start right up again, I'm sort of glad that this new protocol has a built-in time off period.  No daily shots for a bit! Hallelujah!

My mom and I spent a lot of our time working on the someday nursery.  I think I'm going to start calling it Maybe - the Maybe Baby, just for ease of description.

Over the past few years my philosophy has been "don't count your chickens before they hatch."  I haven't really let myself buy or do anything baby-related because I didn't want it to bring more cosmic bad luck on me.  But, at this point, it's not like our luck could really get worse, so my philosophy has changed to one of "if you build it, they will come."

Now, as a self-admitted non sports enthusiast, it's funny that I'm governing my life with a quote from a baseball movie, but I've got to say that it's helping my outlook immensely.  So, with that in mind, Maybe's room got a preliminary gender-neutral make-over.

We painted the walls a soft grey and made black-out curtains for the big window that gets sun all day long.  These sheets from West Elm were marked down 50% and then an extra 15% off at the register. It's hard to tell from the photo below, but they're a white background with small navy blue arrows that almost look like polka dots from far away.  I bought the king set and used the flat sheet to make two panels.  We lined them with a heavy white black-out fabric (also 50% off at JoAnn's - it was my lucky day!) and they now hang beautifully.

After using the flat sheet for the drapes, I've still got two king-sized pillow cases and a huge fitted sheet.  I'm going to make a few crib sheets and a quilt with all the extras.  So, for $70, I'll be getting two lined curtains, three crib sheets, two pillowcases (for someday big kid beds) and a quilt.  That's not too shabby!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Paw-blo Picasso

It's been a pretty mild summer so far.  May was great weather-wise.  We only have a few big rain storms and a couple days over 85.  Mostly it was high 70's and glorious blue skies.

We spent the weekend outside.  Blake had to work, but he worked from home.  More specifically, he worked from the patio.

I puttered around the yard as my energy came and went, and also curled up on the bench under the lilacs with my kindle and a selection of John Green books.

It was a great weekend.

Bear, of course, spent his time patrolling the yard, checking on the neighbors, and digging up previously-burried treats.  There's nothing quite so appealing as when he digs up a gooey bully stick, brings it proudly to you and sets it on your bare foot.  Yummm-o.

All that work in the 80 degree sunshine tired him out, and he napped the rest of the afternoon like it was his job.  But, not before he created a mud masterpiece on the back door.  Thanks, Bear.