December 28, 2015

This Guy...

 This guy right here.  This guy is my little buddy.  (Although he's over 50 pounds, so he's not exactly "little").

This is Levi, my 4.5 year old Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog Mix mutt.  We rescued him when we lived in Ohio, and he moved all the way across the country to Seattle with us, and our 2 ferrets (both of which passed away over the last couple of years, sadly). He's incredibly social, and has an innate need to be with us, no matter where we are.  He would come into the shower with me, if I let him, ha ha.

Levi is a little high-strung, and he's a big scaredy-cat, afraid of loud noises and sudden movements.  But he's my protector, my running buddy, my naptime heater, my shadow, and my best friend.  I take care of him, and he takes care of me. 

His ears are HUGE and velvety-soft, which I adore.  And his coloring is lovely: with the brownish-red mottling all over, with various patches of white.  People stop us all the time and comment on how cute he is.  People also assume he's a girl, and say things like "She's SO cute!  What's her name???" 

But I don't tell Levi that people think he's a girl.  That might damage his sensitive male ego.  That's the only secret I keep from him. 

I'm interested to see how Levi reacts to having an infant in the house.  Levi's "pack" of humans is expanding, and I think he's going to do great with our baby!  I tell him all the time that "Mama has a baby in her belly" but he doesn't really understand.  But I tell him his little world is going to be turned upside down in about 3 months.  But I think he'll love the baby just as much as he loves us, and that's all that matters.

December 26, 2015

A LOT has happened since I last posted here.  The biggest news is this:  After about 8 months of trying to conceive, I finally became pregnant around mid-July!

I'm about 5.5 months along at the moment, and everything is going great! My first trimester was extremely difficult for me, as I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in September and being pregnant seemed to increase my painful Fibro symptoms by about 1,000 percent.  I was so nauseous, so constipated, and suffering from so much all-over body pain & soreness, that I was basically an invalid and couldn't get off the couch for 3 months. 

It sucked.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I prayed constantly that the Lord would just let me get through it.  And He did!  Now I'm at the end of my 2nd trimester, and I'm very pleased to report that I feel SO much better.  My Fibro pain has returned to what it was before getting pregnant, and the intense all-day nausea is completely gone.  I'm occasionally still constipated and my back hurts sometimes, but it's actually been a fairly enjoyable experience. 

I didn't start to show until last week or so, and everyone I met took one look at me and said, "You don't look pregnant!" And that always made me chuckle.  For some reason, (maybe because I'm "big boned" and fairly tall for a woman), my belly did not grow very much and I did not look pregnant until very recently.  Which I'm very much okay with, because this has prevented up until now a lot of common, uncomfortable pregnancy side effects, like stretch marks, weight gain, swollen ankles, and back pain.  I don't have any stretch marks so far, and I've actually LOST several pounds of weight, but that's because I couldn't eat much during my first trimester. 

So over the next few months, we'll see how many of these common pregnancy ailments hit me.  But for now, I'm just enjoying the ride, savoring this weird and miraculous experience, and constantly trusting the Lord that He knows what He's doing with me and my baby. 

July 25, 2015

Stitch Happens Here business on Etsy

I've been busy lately:  with doctors' appointments, our trip to Cincinnati, and working on putting the finishing touches on our small house.  But now that things have settled down a bit, I can focus again on making scarves for my Etsy shop called "Stitch Happens Here."

This adorable, lightweight floral scarf reminds me of a woodland floor.  You can view & purchase this scarf and many others here. 

Earlier this year, I purchased health insurance for the first time in a few years, and have been seeing doctors & specialists over the last few months, trying to figure out what is "wrong" with me.  I've had questions & concerns about my health for the last several years, but could never afford health insurance, so I could not go to the doctor to address these issues.

I'm being referred to a Rhuematologist soon, because both my doctor & I highly suspect that I may have Fibromyalgia.  I've suspected this since around 2009, when I had to suddenly quit working outside the home because of fatigue, pain, and depression issues.  But more on all that later.

I'll write more at a later date about my issues with all-over body pain, fatigue, inability to mentally focus on tasks, inability to lose weight, headaches/jaw aches and trouble sleeping, all of which are markers for Fibromyalgia.

So even though I may have something fairly debilitating like Fibro, I take great comfort in knowing that I've got things like sewing, knitting, making scarves, photography, reading, writing, and spending time with the Lord in prayer to keep me productive and to get all these creative energies out of me!

And thank goodness, none of these hobbies take a lot of energy to perform.

Anybody else have or know of anyone with chronic pain or fatigue conditions like Fibro or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  Share your stories in the comments below, and let me know if creative pursuits have helped you!


July 22, 2015

Visit to Cincy & Miami University!

My husband & I have recently returned from a vacation to Cincinnati, Ohio, and the surrounding areas, which is where I'm from.  My parents have lived in & near Lebanon for the last several years, so that is where I call "home" now. 

We spent one day up at my alma mater, Miami University.  I graduated in 2007, and it's crazy to see how the campus has changed in these last 8 years. 

Holy cow--has it really been EIGHT years since I graduated college?!? *Gulp*

Anyway, the picture above is me & my amazing hubby Eric, kissing beneath the Upham Archway, which, if you've ever attended Miami, is THE thing to do! I believe the legend says that if you kiss your sweetheart under the arch, at midnight, when the overhead lantern is on, then you'll marry them soon, or some such nonsense. 

Whatever the silliness; it's still romantic, and Eric & I still act like newlyweds, even 7 years later! 

We also ate at what is arguably the BEST place to eat in any college town, that is the tiny hole-in-the-wall shop known as "Bagel & Deli" in uptown Oxford, a block away from the Miami campus. 

B & D is where I ate at least once a week when I attended Miami, and it's THE place to eat.  They serve hot, you guessed it, Bagel and Deli sandwiches, and they are amazing!  The tiny shop is a quirky little place with their "menu" hanging from the walls in the form of pictures of the sandwiches with funky names.  My absolute fave is the "Messy Katie", which contains sliced turkey, cream cheese, avocado, bean sprouts, honey mustard, and cheese, on a bialy bagel.  It's seriously the best thing I've ever eaten. 

Even Eric, who, being from Seattle has an arguably wider & more refined palate than myself, claimed that his bagel sandwich might be one of the best things he's ever eaten, ever. 

Anyway, I didn't mean for this post to be a love letter to Bagel & Deli, but seriously, if I could get them delivered out here to Seattle, you'd better believe I'd be looking into it!

It was such a great trip to Ohio, and I loved seeing my parents, extended family, and old friends again.  Such a trip down memory lane.  And it had been our first time back in almost 4 years, so it was overdue!

My New Shoulder Length Wavy Bob

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My new shoulder length, wavy bob, done by my local gal in Marysville, Washington!  I love it!!!

The highlights throughout were done by her last year, and they've grown out wonderfully.

This was right after she cut and styled it--now the hardest part is me being able to make it look like this in the morning! (Note:  I can't.)