Monday, July 27, 2009

Geocaching IS fun!

I almost forgot how fun geocaching can's just been too darn long since we have really gone out and given it our all. While having fun at the Midwest Geobash in Ohio last weekend, we racked up another 100 finds and had a ball hanging out with some of our favorite people.

This week is going to be crazy again-lots of social engagements and little trips planned. Today, my sister and I went out to Rivertown Mall to get the girls' pictures taken at Sadies. The shoot went extremely well and as usual, it was impossible to pick my favorite. At least we got some good shots and everyone was well behaved.

We also had too much fun at Old Navy, where they are having a HUGE sale. Take an additional 50% their already marked down items. I bought clothes for the girls for next year, and some of the shirts and pants were under $2! Now how can you possibly beat that? We had fun-shopping for the little ones is always a good time for me.

Tomorrow, some good friends of ours who just moved back to the State are stopping by so we can catch up, Wednesday I have a playdate for the girls in the works and Thursday we going down to Binder Park Zoo for the day. Whew...I'm already exhausted just thinking about it all!

And the weekend project....The Shed. It's going to take a lot of work but boy will it be nice once it's built and we can finally get one of our cars into the garage where it belongs! Here's hoping anyway....

P.S. Sorry it was a week between posts. So much happening, it's hard to find the time to gather my thoughts in writing. Thanks for continuing to check in on me!

Monday, July 20, 2009


The girls are attending their first Vacation Bible School this week with Grandma Brace. I have never attended one nor have I seen one in action but the theme is "Crocodile Dock" and it is sure to involve crafts, singing, stories, exploration and all the other things that make learning fun for kids.

I actually had to wake the twins up this morning at 7:45 so that they would be ready in time. I was graced with children who normally sleep til 8:30 or 9am. Which means I get to sleep longer too. It only reaffirms my decision to choose afternoon preschool again for the Fall. Why not let us all (sorry, Mikey, I know that you have to get up for work) have 1 more year of late mornings before it's all over for the next 13 or so years. Anywho, Grandma is dropping them back off at Noon each day and then it's over to Daddy's work to grab him for lunch.

Having the whole house to myself is very strange and liberating at the same time. I turned the music up loud, I played on the computer, I picked up and straightened on the main level, I talked on the phone and no one cared! No one asked for a snack! It was crazy! And....I liked it! The rest of the week is looking top notch now! Not to mention that Mike and I are getting away, starting on Friday, for a weekend without the kids! Imagine my luck!

It's gonna be a great week.... :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Photobook

For anyone interested in seeing the photobook that I created of the girls using MyPublisher, here is the linky.

I think that it turned out really well, considering it's being published almost 6 months late. I vow to do better on their 4-5 year book. They certainly deserve it!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Photos Everywhere!

With the blissfully cool invention of digital cameras, we no longer have to worry about using all the film (which was expensive) or having to pay for all the pictures to be developed. I try to use my camera as much as possible to capture the mundane, the cool-to-me, the moments I don't want to forget. Sometimes, this results in way too many pics!

I just hate to delete photos off my computer. Even if they are not the best quality, I worry that I will want it someday or maybe I can help solve a crime! Yeah right! :) I assume it's the same theory/excuse that we all use to keep a bunch of junk-I mean "precious treasures"- around that we never use but continue to keep stored away in a dark, cardboard cube. It surely must be time for a garage sale....ugh, I getting off subject!

Anyway, I have completed-ish the girls 3-4 year photobook and am getting ready to order it this evening. In going through all the photos of the girls from 2008, I realized that there were thousands of pictures and it took me hours to go through them and pick my favorites. It got to be so overwhelming that I ended up just limiting the book to "trips" that we took, even if it wasn't far from home. I really like how it's coming together, now that I have a semi-theme to work with. I'll post a link to view it on-line once it's sent to the publisher so everyone can take a peek!

Happy picutre snapping, everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The House was Hot!

We had our "Housewarming" party yesterday and we seriously could not have asked for a better day! It was 78 and sunny, with a light breeze and no humidity. Perfect. The house actually looked really looked great! By far the nicest it has looked since we've owned it and probably long before that. We had a great turn out of friends and family who came out to share in our happiness and hard work. It was a lot of fun and Mike and I finally feel like we can relax a bit and just enjoy our home for a change! Yippee!

I wanted to post a pic or two of our completed family room. I think that we put more time and sweat into this room than any other. It has become my favorite place in the house to go to when I just want to hang out and relax, read a book or watch all the nature outside our windows. Mike and I are happy with how it turned out and are looking forward to spending a lot of quality time in it for years to come.

We even have a little wet bar area with a nice microwave, mini-fridge and sink. There are also built-in shelves on the side and lots of storage underneath. We also want to add more shelving, a wine rack and a place for all of our "party" glasses. All in good time I guess...

This week is going to be blissfully quiet with no major plans on the horizon for a couple weeks. I am going to finally finish the twins photobook for years 3 thru 4 by Friday-that's my goal. Be sure to wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So Much is New!

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend this year. On Friday, we went Geocaching (something we have not been able to do lately) with our friends, CacherX4. The crazy part is that although we met through caching, and although our families have spent a lot of time together and love hanging out, our 2 families have never been out geocaching all together! We went back to Newaygo State Park because the caches there were so well done and had a great time. We probably hiked a good 6+ miles through the forest, across the sand dune cliffs and down many trails. We had a lovely picnic lunch, ran into our friends Photobug2 and as we were leaving, saw some new cachers that we met at the event the week prior. They too had come back to tackle some of the harder ones. We finished with dinner in Sparta at Downtown Trini's and then hit a few more easy caches on the way home. A very long, exhausting but totally fun day...

Saturday was a day of firsts. My sister Anna, her hubby Shaun, and their daughter Hailey, met us in the morning so that we could attend the Cascade 4th of July Parade. The girls had never seen a parade before and they had a ton of fun waving to everyone going by. Tara's favorite part, of course, was the candy being thrown out to the crowd! After the parade, Cascade hosted a carnival with free rides, inflatables, face painting, balloons, clowns, you name it! The twins rode their first pony, went on their first carnival ride and raced each other in the obstacle inflatable. The weather was a little iffy but we had a good time. We also went downtown to see the fireworks that evening, got into our favorite secret spot for viewing and enjoyed the show. We've been spoiled by Thunder over Louisville, but they weren't bad. The girls didn't care and Mike wouldn't be happy if we didn't see at least some kind of fireworks on the 4th.

Sunday, my parents took the girls for the afternoon and evening while Mike and I worked on the house some more. Mike installed a new set of temporary steps leading up to the front of the house since someone was going to be seriously injured on the old ones. I continued to work on the painting of the family room, which I have to say, it the worst painting project ever. I seriously will not be changing any colors in that room for a very long time. At least it is done now, curtains are hung, artwork is on the walls and we are picking up some furniture tonight that will help to finish it, at least for now.

The big house warming party is on Sunday and I am going to do everything in my power to be ready. And if I'm not, oh well. The house still looks 100x better than when we bought it and I'm proud of all the work we have been able to accomplish. Now, back to the grind....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Rheumatologist

I finally had my appointment with the Rheumatologist this week and after a thorough examination, he could conclusively diagnose me with Fibromyalgia. He was also concerned about a few other things and sent me back to the lab for more blood work. I should know on Monday what the results of those tests are and if he will need to see me again in the near future. I hope not.

The bad news about fibromyalgia is that there is no cure. The good news is that it is not really a disease, meaning it is not hurting my overall health or damaging my muscles, nerves, heart, etc. People with this condition have many different symptoms, the main ones being pain in 18 very specific pressure/tender points. I have included a snippet from the Fibromyalgia Network that may be better able to explain how I "feel".

The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, severe fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the soft fibrous tissues in the body.

Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they were pulled or overworked. Sometimes fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle twitches and burning sensations. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, and it shows up in people of all ages. A conservative estimate of its prevalence is 2% of the general population.

To help your family and friends relate to your fibromyalgia symptoms, have them think back to the last time they had a bad flu. Every muscle in their body shouted out in pain. In addition, they felt devoid of energy as though someone had unplugged their power supply. While the severity of symptoms fluctuates from person to person, fibromyalgia may resemble a post-viral state.

When light pressure is applied to the surface of the muscles throughout the body, patients with fibromyalgia find this painful, especially at the tender points used for diagnosis.

Other common symptoms of the syndrome are as follows:
  • fatigue
  • extreme sensitivity to cold
  • irritable bowel (e.g., diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
  • sleep disorder (or sleep that is unrefreshing)
  • chronic headaches (tension-type or migraines)
  • jaw pain (including TMJ dysfunction)
  • cognitive or memory impairment
  • post-exertional malaise and muscle pain
  • morning stiffness (waking up stiff and achy)
  • menstrual cramping
  • numbness and tingling sensations
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • skin and chemical sensitivities
Specifically, I am having trouble with very tender muscles (it doesn't feel like sore or pulled muscles but more like a screwdriver being mashed into your arm when someone just gives you a little poke), numbness and tingling sensations, lightheadedness, headaches, sensitivity to *everything* (at least that's what it seems like sometimes) and overall fatigue. I was thinking that this was all due to the Guillain-Barre or being on the blood thinners for so long. Guess not.

I am still digesting and learning what fibromyalgia is all about so please be patient with me. I am not taking any drugs for it at this time because I don't feel that I need them. I am able to cope with my symptoms, especially now that I know why I'm feeling the way I do. It's also nice to know that I'm not crazy. I was beginning to think that all this stuff was in my head....which it sorta is but in a medically speaking sort of way.

I appreciate all your thoughts, prayers, and support. My goal is to continue to keep a positive outlook, take a realistic snapshot of my day to day health and strive to make the best out of every situation. I mean, at least I'm here to experience it, right?