2007 mid-ish year recap

wherein kelly throws herself a whiny pity party and decides upon review that she really doesn’t care about the tense shifting and inconsistent capitalization enough to do anything about it.

let’s recap, shall we?

bad: found out my dad’s “spots” were very terminal pancreatic cancer

good: *finally* sold our damn house.
bittersweet: found out friends were pregnant (what? i’m not allowed to be happy and a wee bit jealous?)
bad: work-related stress comes to a serious head, resulting in more than one panic attack.

bad -“the flood” -work falls to bitty, bitty chaotic pieces
bittersweet: found out my cousin was pregnant (see above)
good: found out I was pregnant
(it should be noted that the flood, rachel’s pregnancy and my discovery were all the same damn day)
bad: dad spends the month in and out of the hospital thanks to pneumonia, random fevers, and life-threatening blood clots.
bad: low progesterone issues threaten my pregnancy
bad: trip to new york is cancelled.
worst week so far: the one where it looked like i was going to miscarry, my dad was going to die, and we should have been spending a great week in newyork with my inlaws.

fuck march

good: low progesterone issues taper off as i enter the second trimester
bad: my dad dies.

fuck april

bad: my dad’s first not-birthday
good: the first annual “Bob Valentine Memorial Day at the Casino”
bad: Nancy (my mother in law)’s cancer has spread to her brain.

fuck the hell out of may.

good: baby and i pass the 18week checkup with flying colors, even if we didn’t discover the gender
good: trip to seattle with 4 of my closest friends (oh, and ryan)
good: work seems to be turning around with the help of some restructuring/new hires
bad: my mentor leaves the company, leaving me at “the helm” of this new restructuring
bad: my first birthday in 20+ years where my father doesn’t call me at 10:50 to say happy birthday
good/bad: the radiation treatments clearly help Nancy, but greatly fatigue her/cause complications

seattle aside, fuck june, too.

bad: blockage in Nancy’s digestive system is irreparable. she comes home to die.
bittersweet: more rushed than we’d like, we move out of our crappy apartment and into our sexy loft. loft is largely empty as we left most of our stuff behind.
good: baby is officially declared a girl
bad: my grandmother (the only grandparent i have left) is diagnosed with chronic pulmonary distress.
good: looks like she’s just an 89 year old woman with 89 year old lungs. it’s not great, but it’s not life-threatening.
bad: Nancy dies. her wake is 3 months to the day that my father died.
good: we register for “stuff” at babiesrus as a helpful distraction.
good: will and gina arrive a week early.

i’d fuck july if i had the strength.

good: will and gina’s presence in our home makes it feel like home.
bad: the week i took off to support my family throws the restructuring at work out of whack. yes, there were other reasons, but had i been there…
bad: stress of life and work and physical stress of baby causes painful acid reflux and i loose a weekend to feebleness and vomiting. takes a week to get my appetite back.
good: when we can squeeze it in, we move forward with baby things like building furniture and registering at target.
good: we find almost a week where we can focus on our loft and our upcoming baby. there is still much to do.
bad: life and work stress, coupled with the fact that i’m less and less physically capable of doing things, cause me to start having panic attacks again.
good: i start taking anti-depressants after talking with my doctor.
good: surprise trip to peoria to see nickelcreek and fiona apple.
bad: very close friends who’ve been together for 5 years end their relationship.
second worst week of the year: watching a friend grieve over the loss of her relationship and trying to help when she wants to be left alone to die. feeling more helpless than with either death.
good: my replacement at work is a rockstar. it gets easier every week to let a little work-stress go.
bad: nancy’s father (grandpa fritz) is diagnosed with colon cancer.
good: grandpa fritz has a very successful surgery to remove the cancer. is pronounced “good for 10 more years”. he is 91.
bad: grandpa’s sutures fail. he returns for additional surgery. it is successful (thusfar), but requires a ventilator, feeding tube. none of which he wants.

fuck august.

fuck it harder than any other month, in no small part because of all the months that have come before it, weighing it down so heavily.

september – december
good: apple day
bad: the first apple day with no nancy. the first apple day in 5 years with no fritzs because they’re all in chicago watching over grandpa’s beside.
bad: grandpa will likely not see halloween.
good: impending births of many loved children, including my own.
good: declaring myself “pagan enough” to count halloween as the new year and hopefully separating charlotte’s birth from the year that preceded it.
deathly frightening and exiting: charlotte’s arrival
bittersweet: there is still so very much to do.
bittersweet: showers for charlotte, which will have a few palpable absences.
good: will and gina will likely still be in town when charlotte arrives
bad: will and gina will leave days later for their new home in DC.
bittersweet: thanksgiving, christmas and so many alterations to loved traditions.
good: there will be a tattoo on me in some form or another to mark this year on my skin as permanently as it’s been marked on my soul.

may it be that i find the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

2007: a look ahead

here’s the things that i’d like to do this year:

  • drink less soda (maybe 1 a day?)
  • drink way more water (some in the form of tea)
  • wean myself mostly off of caffeine by march-ish
  • exercise regularly (once week by march, adding a “once” every week every quarter)
  • read one book a month (pitiful goal, i know, but considering i read about 3 all 2006, it’s not an unrealistic one)
  • write (at least 6 hours a week)
  • eat better (one “take out” meal a day, healthier choices in general)
  • take my vitamins
  • finish ryan’s scarf before spring

oh yeah, i know that it takes a few weeks to get a single habit ingrained, and that trying to do all of this at once means i’m probably doomed to fail and all, but ya gotta have dreams, right? speaking of dreams…

loftier “things i’d like to do/have/etc but can’t necessarily do on my own and/or have no real control over” goals:

also, the official motto of 2007 is “fuck that!”

where do we live?


first off, there’s the house. that we’ve lived in for just over 4 years (literally 4 years and 2 weeks, i think). we own this.

we also “own” a loft-condo that we will be moving into sometime next year. the latest we’ve heard is “summer 2007”, but they started (last year when we claimed ours) with “spring/summer 2007”, so if we actually live there by october 2007 i’ll be pleased.

in the mean time, to eliminate the drama around trying to sell our house when we don’t actually know when we’ll be moving, we’re living here….or at least we would be if they were finished. we’ve signed our july 1 lease and all…but there’s some drama around the electricity. it’d be nice if we could say “it’s all done but the wiring,” but frankly, it’s not. they don’t appear to have the bulk of the infrastructure in place. units are done, the things units need/want (security, internet, cable/sattelite, elevators, parking garages) don’t exactly look all done but the flip of the power switch. the pool looks good though.

so, right now, we are here. it’s juuuust too far away from work/metro to be truly useful in terms of getting rid of our cars, but it’s nice to not have to go very far away after fireworks, and it’ll be nice to wake up and go to work and have 10 minute commute. we’re still burning a bit of gas, since each day we’re heading back to the house to continue the process of purging/packing/preparing the house for sale.

with all this chaos, the best way to get a hold of us is a cell phone…as soon as i get back home and charge mine :)

moving: day 1

so we’ve “started” packing up and purging, but didn’t really get full swing until today. here’s what we accomplished:

  • the pantry (everything sorted into keep, donate, trash)
  • the fridge (everything that can’t make it to whenever we actually get into the apartment trashed)
  • the freezer (see above)
  • the liquor (everything vinegar-ized or opened that hasn’t been used in 1+ years trashed)
  • the clothes (went through 3+ boxes of clothes i haven’t seen in 4+ years to sort into keep, donate, trash–the bulk is being donated)
  • the bedroom (far corner and a bunch of ryan’s clothes sorted)

…um, i think that’s it. but it was a lot. there’s always laundry, too. oh, and there were fireworks downtown.

bathroom setbacks

painting a bathroom can be hazardous to both your physical and mental heath.

during coat 4 (while in a particularly awkward and stressful position to pain behind the toilet), something in my back snapped and made the rest of the paint job pretty challenging. ryan offered to finish up for me, but i declined. he hates painting and i wasn’t in too much pain.

two weeks later, i’m still in “not too much” pain. it’s dull, it only gets aggravated when i’m sitting down and/or leaning forward (like say, at a computer screen) or when i’m actively challenging it (like say, painting) but those sorts of things rarely happen…for less than 9 or 10 hours a day. it is less than fun. if it’s still bothering me after this next weekend (where i will be in chicago, doing less desk/chair sitting) there will be a doctor visit. it’s not a ruptured or slipped anything, i don’t think. i would expect much more pain and some bizarre leg feelings were that the case. it’s just my back, between the shoulder blades until i put too much stress on the rest of my back and i start getting lower back pain. heating pads either take the pain away, or distract me from it, so i’m a fan. i tried ice because someone suggested that it’s inflamed and taking away all the heat might soothe it. it worked great during, but once my back started warming up, there was twitching and spasming. heat doesn’t give me that, so i sit with a pad between me and my chair for pretty much the whole day/night now, shifting it up or down depending on where the pain is the brightest.

but not too big of a deal right? we’ve only got one more bathroom to paint, right?

wrong again. there were some novice mistakes made during my painting blitz. tape needs to come up almost immediately after painting or not used at all. i left the same tape on the walls for all 4 coats, over a 5 day period. bad. lots of paint and primer coming off the drywall. even when it’s cut, it’s not sealed, which is badder for bathrooms than normal. also, after spending all that money on the bathrooms and then paint and supplies, we decided to save a couple of bucks (literally, i think it was like $2.50) by buying the cheaper disposable rollers. cheaper, full of loose fuzz rollers. which got all over the walls and ceiling, making the paint job look super-duper crappy.

the fact that neither one of us liked the color we picked suddenly didn’t matter any more. the whole place had to be sanded down and painted again anyway.

feeling crappy for doing the crappy job, and knowing that ryan is not a fan of the painting, i bit off a bit more sanding than i could chew. he was, after all, responsible for all the edge trimming/tape removal stuff since there’s no way my back was gonna let that fly. that probably pushed my back-healing back a bit, so we decided to take it easy. after all, we hadn’t picked out a new color yet…or a shower curtain that didn’t suck…

time started to creep away from us, and it was looking like this was going to be another project that got away from us and was hastily finished later. considering the amount of money we spent to get the bathrooms this far, this was more frustrating than usual. we’re expecting a house guest next week, who might appreciate having someplace to wash up, so we started pressing on with the re-paint this week. being physically restricted from fixing it added greatly to my stress, because nagging is not something i want to ever engage in, but ryan’s pretty much on his own right now.

i did the easy work of using the rollers. it didn’t take long (and only hurt a little) so i tried my hand at edging. it hurt too much to do, and the pain was adding to my frustration so i quit before i threw a bahia green colored temper-tantrum all over the bathroom. ryan spent the rest of the night painstakingly getting new-coat 1 on the walls. tonight we’ll do coat 2 and a coat on the ceiling. tomorrow we’ll assemble, just in time to leave for the weekend.

this could be going smoother, really.

oh! and we have not even begun work on the master bath, because we’re waiting on a vanity resolution. it’s just untreated drywall, still.