Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up and What's ahead

This weekend was what I'd call short but sweet. I worked the late shift on Friday (3pm-11:30pm) and went straight to bed. Saturday morning we were up early to have breakfast with my parents and head to an estate sale afterwards. Its been oppressively hot around here for the last week, so we were hoping to be done at the auction early.

Its been a long time since I've been to an estate sale and this one was awesome! Lots of fun people, good auctioneers and items selling really cheap. Andrew wasn't all that thrilled to come along, but he ended up buying more stuff than I did! Some of our awesome finds included: a 70's one speed mens bike, large pickle/cracker jar with its original metal lid, coat tree and a card table with chairs. I could have done without the sunburn on my neck/heat sickness but it was so much fun!

Saturday night I headed out to see some of my college friends. We had a crazy rain storm and our power was out (meaning without the generator running the basement would flood) so Andrew had to stay home and deal with that situation. To make matters worse, the dog has been acting nuts since her surgery, bashing her cone into everything and digging it into my flower beds in what I think is an attempt to get it off her head. I was happy I got to see my friends but felt so guilty leaving him at home.

Today was mostly spent relaxing and running errands. We met up with Andrew's family for dinner at Buca de Beppo, which was amazing and came home to lay around.

On the agenda for this week: working, helping my mom with our church festival, hoping to try out some more zucchini recipes and seeing one of my best friends Friday night!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 22, 2011

my furry child

Let it be known that I am obsessed with my dog - and to be technical she's not even really my dog. Andrew rescued her from an abusive situation years before I met him, but the first time I saw her I was totally attached. I remember when we broke up briefly I was so upset that I might not see Bessie again.

Poor old Bessie has been sick on and off since winter, probably about February. When there was still snow on the ground I noticed blood in her urine and knew something was wrong. We took her to the vet and since then she's been on three medications and special dog food for what they thought was a UTI. Well, over the weekend her bladder started to loose control and she was peeing everywhere. I was getting really worried about her and made her an appointment for Tuesday of this week.

They took an x-ray of her bladder and found three large stones as well as several small stones laying under them which would require surgery to remove. She had her operation on Thursday and she's doing well! She's on medicated dog food, has a lovely cone on her head and some pills to take for the next couple weeks. I feel so horrible that she had to go through all of this but I'm so glad that she's okay. To know Bessie is to love her, and she truly is the sweetest dog in the world. I never have to worry about her when friends and family stop by, she just wants them to love on her and throw her toy a few times. She makes the silliest noises and is incredibly smart. But that snout and sniffing nature can get her into some serious trouble because she loves to eat trash and steal food. I know its just part of her nature as a hound dog.

Andrew's parents really helped us out a lot and picked her up after surgery and kept her for the night. She's back home now and very happy indeed. She can manouver in her cone really well and has figured out eating/drinking with it on and never runs into ANYTHING. I'm ready for her to be back to her old hound self again soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

in a moment

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Staying Active

For the last two years my weight and level of activity have been like a roller coaster. I'll get into a three or four month routine of eating well and working out and then quit for no reason, and its usually just when I'm starting to see results. I feel pretty crummy about my body image and it doesn't help that my mom is very judgemental of people who are "overweight" and criticizes me a lot. I'd also like to be in a smaller size for the wedding, but I'm not pushing myself to be so skinny that no one knows who I am - I just want to feel better and I think that's more important than the size on my jeans or a number on a scale.

Andrew and I used to be really active when we first started dating. The town where he used to live was friendly to walking and bikes and we walked or rode our bikes everywhere. There were also lots of nice parks, a few within walking distance, that we would go to in the summer. Where we live now is a totally different story. The main road in front of our house hasn't been paved in about 12 years and is full of potholes and very narrow. There are no sidewalks or bike trails and the parks suck, for lack of a better word. We have to drive 15 minutes to get to a nice park (Blendon Woods) or about 20 minutes to walk at Hoover Reservoir (no, not the one you think I'm talking about). I can't really afford a gym membership right now, but I've got a nice bike and a carrier for my car. Yesterday we took a nice drive down to Lancaster and went to Rising Park where I realized how out of shape I really am while climbing up a pretty steep hill to the top. It was both embarrassing and eye opening.

I'm not really sure what stops me from being more active. Sure, its a little inconvenient to drive to a park to work out, but I'd be doing the same thing if I belonged to a gym. My work schedule is also pretty erratic, I work two 8 hour shifts and two 12 hour shifts a week (7am-3pm or 7am-7pm and sometimes 3pm-11pm). When I have a day off I'm usually worried about getting caught up on housework, doing my grocery shopping and having a little time to relax. I convince myself that scrubbing the bathtub and vacuuming counts as a workout and I don't need to do anything else. Andrew and I have had a lot of long arguments discussions about my "lack of activity" and we've decided to get out and do something three times a week and see how it goes.

Now I'm looking for suggestions - but remember that:
1) We live in the flat lands of Columbus, OH
2) Andrew isn't into workout DVDs but I'm trying to convince him they aren't that bad.
3) We live behind the high school that has a track, bleachers and large open fields.

What would you suggest to keep us more active?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Engagment Pictures

At the beginning of the month, my brother's fiance took some engagement pictures for us. I feel like I've been waiting forever to see them since she has been training out of town for a new job - but now I can share a few of my favorites!

In front of the barn at Andrew's family farm, it was built in the early 1900's and has been in his mothers family for over 100 years.

Inside of the barn, pictures never seem to do it justice.

We're standing on the spot where we'll have our wedding reception next fall. Andrew's parents and his brother also had their receptions on this spot.

One of my favorites.

And of course you have to have a kissing picture!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My family is my heart

My mom and I just spent the last three days a half hour outside of Pittsburgh visiting her family. It was probably one of the best trips out there in years! On Friday we had lunch with my god-parents/my mom's brother, his wife and their daughter. We talked about wedding stuff, enjoyed some wonderful food and beautiful weather.

Saturday my mom's sister took us to some adorable consignment and vintage stores. It was so hard to resist the temptation of spending my entire paycheck, but I did manage to find a really cute top and bracelet. That evening all of my cousins and their kids, my uncle and his wife joined us for a cookout and it was a blast! I really miss my family there and we don't get to do things like this often enough. My second cousins have grown up right before my eyes and its neat to see the little adults they are becoming. We laughed till we cried, shared family stories and wondered where the time has gone.

I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful (and big) extended family. Although my brother and I are a lot younger than most of my cousins, at the age I am now I don't really notice the difference.

With almost all of my cousins - but these are the girls who've always been close.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I am an advocate

Over the last year I have become a major advocate for two different kinds of cancer - Ovarian and Lung. I know they don't really have anything in common besides that they are different kinds of cancer, so allow me to explain because I don't think I've ever talked about this on here before.

In April of 2010 when I decided I was going back to school and would be leaving my full time job, I wanted to find an internship. I looked through several websites, talked to a career counselor and eventually landed a Marketing Internship with a local Ovarian Cancer group. I knew basically nothing about Ovarian Cancer, but I knew I wanted to try out working with a non-profit and since Breast Cancer runs in my family (and the two tie in together) I thought it would be a good fit. Little did I know the passion that I would gain for this cause in the process, how my wardrobe would be overwhelmed with Teal clothes and how my heart would break when two of our survivors lost their fight. I never thought I would want to stay on at the end of my internship and continue on as a volunteer mentoring the new interns. I am now the assistant chair of the Marketing Committee as well as the Chair of the Live and Silent Auction for the gala held each spring. The women that I have met have touched my life in more ways that I can ever explain, they've taught me to listen to my body, to know when to ask for more tests or a second opinion, that life is something so precious and faith can pull a person through just about anything.

In April of 2011 my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer after an inoperable mass was found on his right lung. He began chemo almost immediatley and is doing surprisingly well at the moment. He's going for his fifth treatment today, and although he's lost most of what was left of his hair, has gone down a pants size and lost around 18lbs, he's doing a lot better. He was the most upbeat I've seen him in a long time over the holiday weekend and thankfully the chemo hasn't been making him too sick. After he was diagnosed I vowed to help someone I know quit smoking. I've had a hard time deciding who will be my "victim" because this isn't exactly something you can make someone do unless you really want to quit. My grandpa was a smoker when he was younger, but I always remember him chewing tobacco, which I know is just as bad. I will admit that I used to smoke in college, it wasn't a horrible habit and it took me about a week to go through a pack. I can't even remember the last time I bought a pack of cigarettes and for that I'm glad. There are a lot of smokers in my family and a lot of them really make me upset, a lot of my cousins and other family members smoked while they were pregnant and now their kids have asthma and other problems, they smoke in their house while their little kids are in the room and in the car with a baby. The temptation to rip the cigarette out of their hand and give them a little "love tap" has come over me more times than I can count.

Watching someone you love battle an illness that could have been prevented is not an easy task and I'd like to never see that happen to another person I love. I also want all of the women who read this blog to remember that its important to talk your OB/GYN about ovarian cancer, your risk and the symptoms. For more information you can visit or leave me a comment! For more information on the American Lung Association please visit

For what causes are you an advocate?