Tiny Chickens: A Forever Saga

Hello Keddah,

I have horrible news. I’ve failed my new year’s resolution to not become sick this year by being sick in the first four weeks. It was a good solid effort on my part, but I’ve already failed.

These tiny chickens are different than other tiny chickens that I usually get. These tiny chickens are causing my body to ache like I’m 90 years old, my left temple is trying to skyrocket off my body, and I have a very persistent cough. I also have the tiny chickens in my nose but they’re not as bad this time around.

Will I ever be rid of the tiny chickens? Le sigh.

I’ve also failed at my floss every day challenge and I’ve not read a single book this year.

I’M IN A DEEP WELL OF SORROW KARA BECAUSE TINY CHICKENS AND DAYQUIL.

My head is too full of bees to properly suggest books to you but I want you to know that in my delirious state, I was so proud of your commitment to reading all of those books. You’re a lion and I’m going to take a nap now.

With love from me and my tiny chicken army, all named Lionel.

2016 Book Challenge

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Hi Steffibun! I wanted to show you the books I plan on reading for this year’s challenge. And I need suggestions from you!

  • A book published this year: All the Birds in the Sky (thanks Felicia!)
  • A book you can finish in a day: ANY SUGGESTIONS?
  • A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Maze Runner
  • A book recommended by your local bookseller: The Cuckoo’s Calling (B&N top 100)
  • A book you should have read in school: The Catcher in the Rye
  • A book chosen for you by your BFF: YOU PICK! (lemme guess, the author rhymes with Fart or …Dawson)
  • A book published before you were born: ANY SUGGESTIONS?
  • A book that was banned at some point: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • A book you previously abandoned: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • A book you own but have never read: Ready Player One
  • A book that intimidates you: The Name of the Wind (662 pages??!)
  • A book you’ve already read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

All the Birds in the SkyThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)The Catcher in the RyeThe Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)Ready Player OneThe Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter #1)

I’m using my Goodreads account to keep track of all of these. Feel free to yell at me when I’ve been reading a book for over a month. Otherwise I’ll never read this many haha!

Luna

Hi Kara,

I wasn’t going to talk about this. It was just going to be our dirty little secret from the night before my wedding but you know what?? IT’S THE MOST AMAZING THING AND I WONT BE ASHAMED.

  
I’m talking, of course, about my shameful purchase of Luna Night Oil by Sunday Riley. 

Let’s just get this out in the open. This 1oz bottle is $105.00. That’s a lot of money. In the skincare world, it’s not really that bad, but that’s like 40 trips to Taco Bell. But…

I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my skin since using this product in conjunction with my other skincare. First, I’m not breaking out. I have my occasional period zits of doom, but even when I get those, the spots dissapear within a week – something that would normally take my very fair skin at least a month to deal with. My skin seems more balanced and even in tone. I can’t get enough of this stuff and I know that I will be repurchasing. 

A couple things to note: this product has a very herbally scent. I like it a lot but it could be off putting. It also has two dyes added to the product, which I don’t really understand or like but my skin isn’t bothered by them, clearly. This product contains the highest level of retinol that is available over the counter – which can be drying to the skin. Retinol promotes cell turnover and is very happy making to your skin. As an oily skinned person, I have no trouble using this on a nightly basis and I find that it’s helping to dry me out a bit, which is something I need, but people with dryer skin might want to use a product like this every 2-3 days. 

Here is my unmakeuped face. Ohhhh. Aaaahhhh. 

 

airport selfie!

 
Thanks for keeping my secret, Kara, but it was too good not to share. 

PS it’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me! 

To the furthest star and back,

One Line A Day 2015

I filled out my second year in my five-year memory book. I left 3 days blank on accident this time, oops. Here’s some of the highlights from my 2015!

January 10: Disneyland trip with Hannah, Derek, Nikki & Matt. Hannah’s first time!
January 19: Geek & Sundry is following me!
January 31: Passed my real estate state test! Went to Get Air and I did a front flip!
February 5: Grayson deadlifted 475 lbs!
February 14: Kyle got me 20 Disney movies for my birthday!
February 21: Went to find a wedding dress with Steffi! She tried on a huge cupcake dress as a joke and she loved it. She looked like Charlotte from PatF 🙂
March 4: Wished Kyle and Joyce a happy birthday and I beat Pikmin 3.
March 8: 2nd day of Wild Wild West Con. I had Brian Kesinger sign my copy of Big Hero 6 and I gave him a dancing baby Groot to congratulate him on his new comic!
March 15: Went to Ren Fest again. I met Jessica Nigri!!!
April 5: Dyed eggs and had a delicious dinner with my family. Me and Kyle played Goof Troop while Grayson was the peanut gallery. “Hands down Goofy!”
April 15: Went to the Welcome to Night Vale show. So crazy seeing Cecil speak!
April 17: Drove to California for Kyle’s Disneyland birthday trip. We checked into our tiny hotel with sketchy parking at 1am and of course the room key didn’t work. Of course!
April 20: Grayson has shingles! 😦
May 9: Spent time catching up and laughing with Jodie, Cassie and Savanna. Savanna leaves for Montana soon, I’ll miss her!
May 31: Last day of Comicon. I got my Harry Potter stars tattoo!
June 30: Got our new puppy!! He doesn’t have a name yet, but he’s so adorable!
July 17: Happy 60th birthday Disneyland! I fly out tomorrow!
July 29: Ludo is still peeing overnight and pretty much all the time. He drinks too much water!
August 11: Indiana vacation! Went tubing on the lake and Kyle lost his suit. “I lost everything!”
August 15: Happy birthday Grayson! We went to Melissa’s wedding and had a bonfire where Kyle drank too much beer and failed Kevin’s sobriety tests haha.
October 10: Woke up at 4:30am to drive to Vegas with Steffi & Andrew.
October 23: Flew to LA, I booked a creepy hotel so we stayed at the fancy wedding hotel instead. Katie & Andrew’s rehearsal dinner ❤
November 22: Went to the Bengals/Cardinals game, I saw 2 touchdowns right in front of me! I had a sore throat from all the yelling.
December 2: Drove to Disneyland on a bus for Steffi’s wedding! It takes 3 Disney movies to get there.

Another 4 Disney trips last year. How many did you do?

Wedding Details: The Dress

Hi Keddah,

Today I want to talk about the dress!

I got my dress last… February? At a place in Phoenix called Strut Bridal Salon. They’re specialists in plus size bridal gowns, and I found them at the Arizona Bridal Show. Funnily enough, I was walking around the booths during some down time at the summer show in 2014, complaining that there were no places that specialized or even had gowns for plus size women, when someone kindly pointed out that the booth DIRECTLY BEHIND MINE was for Strut. I ran over there like the devil himself was going to snatch up all of their stock before I made an appointment, and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Strut was a godsend for me. I was so nervous about going dress shopping and not being able to fit into any of the dresses in stock, or having to do additional prep work to let the salons know I was plus sized. All of the dresses I tried on fit me, I never once felt less or unworthy or any of the horrible things that plus size women can feel at bridal shops. I had an amazing time and I would recommend them and Angel (the woman who helped me pick out my dress) to any plus size woman ANYWHERE. Come from far and wide, it is so worth it.

  
With me that day was my mom, Kara (maid of honor), Kelsi (other maid of honor), and Katherine (hair dresser and favorite human). First thing we did was try on a cupcake dress, just as a laugh. And that dress became my dress! We tried on a few more, and I actually ended up going with a more elaborately detailed 40’s style dress, but by the next day I knew I had made a mistake and they allowed me to purchase the first cupcake dress instead.

 

Swish

 
From there, I took the dress to Janet Kirkman for alterations. We had so many visits with her, but she understood my vision and she was absolutely amazing. We shortened it considerably, made the bodice smaller, and added additional boning to bust. My dress wouldn’t be my dress without her. I would recommend her to any future bride – and her prices were also incredibly reasonable!

And then we have the final dress! Tea length, very 50-60’s with the cardigan, and I have never felt more beautiful in my life. I genuinely felt like a princess. And I fully intend to wear it again someday. 1 year wedding anniversary??? Is that too soon? Eh, who’s gonna stop me?

 

Sneak peek of our wedding photos!

 
To the furthest star and back,

A Migraine Saga Part 2

Read part 1 here.

After my one glorious month of no headaches whatsoever, the next few months were quite different. I had at least one headache every week and 4 migraines over a 14 week period. I was starting to get desperate again, but I really didn’t want to go back on propranolol until I had exhausted every other option. So I tried a few more things.

Massage therapy
A co-worker really suggested I try this as it helped her when she used to get migraines. Let me tell you, these are wonderful. My therapist focused mainly on my neck and shoulders, as apparently I was very tense. She told me the benefits of fixing my posture, taking breaks at the computer and maintaining a lower level of stress. We also discussed how my body runs warm and how my face turns beat red when I exercise. I’d really benefit from ice packs on my neck and shoulders after working out and during my massages. Keeping that area from tensing up as it could be preventing normal blood flow and could be causing my headaches. I went a few times, once during a migraine and it was alleviated soon afterword. She then recommended going to a chiropractor also.

Chiropractic
I was so terrified of going to get all my bones cracked, but I went and had my consult done.

Those are the xrays they took. Obviously I have some slight curvature of my spine, haha. He also pointed out that my neck is quite straight with a tilt forward and it’s probably from me hunching and looking down. This probably doesn’t help my tense shoulders so I went a couple times a week for a month and I ended up loving it, even the neck cracking. I tried my best to stay relaxed and take breaks to stretch my shoulders. I had fewer migraines, but just as many headaches and they began to cluster. I was getting 2-3 a week, every other week.

Then my chiropractor asked about my poop. Don’t be embarrassed, we’re all friends here. I confessed that sometimes I go 3 days without pooping and that my idea of eating vegetables was “eating a salad a week.” He really suggested I try eating better and maybe taking some magnesium supplements to help regulate myself. I worked myself up to 500mg a day and I’ve been taking it ever since. I don’t know if it’s helping with the headaches, but I do poop everyday now!

Birth Control
I also stopped taking birth control. Last year, my doctor told me to try being on bc constantly, i.e. not have a period, since most of my headaches occurred either before, during, or after my period. I didn’t like this at all as I was constantly spotting and it was difficult obtaining enough Nuvarings to keep up with the schedule. So I stopped taking it altogether. Besides the other regular side effects of having a normal period, my headache patterns have not changed.

Where I’m at now
My headaches haven’t been as bad as they were last year; I still haven’t had more than one migraine a month. I have a few other things I can try including seeing a neurologist and trying “feverfew”. I have noticed that when I wake up with a headache on one side of my head, the sinus on that side is also stuffed up and I can usually get those to go away with sudefed. I don’t know if sinus problems have anything to do with headaches, but I wish all my my headaches were like that. So I’m at an okay place for now, but not as cured as I want to be.

The saga has now caught up with real time, so part 3 will happen eventually and hopefully it will be the last!

A Beautiful Day

Hi Kara,

As I write this, I’m sitting in my aunt’s beautiful and inviting living room. There’s football and jazz on in the background mixing with the sounds of two Italians preparing dinner, and I’m drinking a strong, milky tea. My husband is sitting in the armchair next to me, learning Japanese.

The sun hasn’t shown its face today. There’s been a thick cloud coverage, and it’s been misting on us all day. I went to have my hair cut this afternoon, and the spindly treetops were gray and hazy. Even though it’s misty, it’s been warmer than it has been all week. It’s truly an unreasonably beautiful day.

But the reason I’m here isn’t very beautiful. On Wednesday, my dad got a call saying that my last living grandparent is living the end of her days. He asked if Andrew and I wanted to come out and see her, and we decided to come. I’ve never really known any of my grandparents, but I’m grateful that I can be here for my Aunt and father.

In these past few days, I’ve received so many condolences for my ailing grandma and I try to explain that they don’t need to feel sorry for me. I wasn’t old enough to know my grandparents when they were either alive or themselves before diseases of the brain took them away. If there existed a word for “slightly sad but mostly interesting”, I would say that I feel that for the fact that I won’t be a granddaughter anymore, but I don’t think having that feeling is a thing worth feeling sorry for.

I hope that my grandma gets to experience some beautiful days, even if she doesn’t know who I am, even if she can only see them through her window, even if she doesn’t know why they’re beautiful.

Me and Nonnie, 1991ish

 

To the furthest star and back,