Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mission Christmas Tree

Hello my dear Bleaders, I know it's been a while, but things have been a little crazy here, with the holidays and all.  I want to note something that happened last weekend that was so grand I can't stand it.  I saw the true Christmas spirit come out.

We have some dear friends who have had more than their fair share of struggles this past year.  Besides job issues and money, they've had some marital issues, and some illness, not serious, but plenty of little colds, flus, etc.  Anyway, at one point this year the wife posted on Facebook that she wished they had a Christmas tree.  (I must insert here that I have a group of five girlfriends from High School that have all stayed close over the past 15 years, and this lady is one of them...we'll call her the Music Maiden.)  So Music Maiden posts that she would like a Christmas tree, and someone else posts, "They're only $20 at Target." to which Music Maiden posts,"We can't afford that."  That wasn't happy to see.  So another one of my dear friends from this group, we'll call her Mama K, emailed us girls and said that this wouldn't do and could we band together and help them out a bit with a tree and a couple presents for their son.  She called it "Mission Christmas Tree."  Of course, all of us girls said yes and the planning began. I had the bright idea to reach out a bit further and see if we couldn't get donations for the cause and really help them have not only a good Christmas, but a great start to 2011.  I talked to the owner of my gym (Trainer Andrew) and asked if we could put a box there with flyers, he agreed that would be ok.  I asked the building where Ms. Belly (she's the one who has offered me her belly) and I work if they would circulate flyers, and they did.  And I dropped off flyers wherever else I could think, boot camp, WW, you name it. 

We had to give those folks some time to matriculate, but in the meantime the girls and I got some cash together and found a tree (from Mama K's Dad) and went shopping.  Mama K and another friend went shopping with our dollars and found lots of presents for young Kyle.  We all then met up on December 16th at Music Maiden's house, tree and presents in hand.  The family was all getting over illness, so we didn't intend to stay long.  Eight of us knocked on the door and when it was opened blurted out "Merry Christmas!"  Music Maiden's hubby was quite surprised to see us all and we didn't wait for him to invite us in, we just sauntered in and almost ran him over.  I heard Music Maiden say, "wait, don't come in!  I'm in pajamas!"  We didn't really care and pretty soon, the folks in the rear wandered to the front carrying the artificial Christmas tree.  Music Maiden couldn't believe what she saw!  They were all very excited.  We then informed her that we needed her to join us outside for another surprise.  She got on some shoes and a sweatshirt and we took her to the car.  Mama K had all the unwrapped presents for son Kyle in her trunk and when we opened the truck, Music Maiden burst into tears when we told her they were for Kyle.  She was so relieved that her son would have a Christmas.  We hadn't wrapped them so she and hubby could enjoy doing that, even bought them paper!  Surprise number one, complete!

By this point, donations are starting to pour in and I'm getting really excited.  The other members at my gym were constantly bringing in bags of food, presents for Kyle and cash.  As the days tugged on, I was bringing home donations every day either from the gym, from the building, or from people seeing the post on Facebook (I had hidden my post from Music Maiden - or so I thought, keep reading).  I was overjoyed.  One morning when I went to the gym, there was a huge jar of coins in the jar with a hundred dollar bill laying on top!  After getting the coins counted, I realized there was $170 in the jar, not including the $100 bill on top!  How amazing is that?!  I walked out of the gym that day with $320 for the family!  So awesome! 

At one point, I got a message on Facebook from Music Maiden saying, "You are so sweet to do this for ANOTHER family.  How can we help?"  (I had posted something about collecting donations on Facebook, and thought I excluded her from seeing it.  Ooops, guess not!  Had a minor freak out, but since we had already done one gifting to them, she thought it was for someone else and thankfully I hadn't used names, so we were safe there.  I tried to tell her that they shouldn't worry about this other family, they needed to think of themselves.  Her only reply was, "We may not be able to give money, but we can give help some other way."  I convinced her that we would discuss it at the Christmas Potluck.  Does this show you how wonderful these people are?)  And before I leave this, let me also say that Music Maiden's hubby had done a photo shoot a couple weekends back with all the proceeds going to a family from their church who was trying to adopt, even though they needed money just as bad.  They are a great family!  And they touch my heart all the time!  So back to our story...

Our dining room table at home was getting fuller and fuller by the day!  I took to wrapping every night so that I wouldn't have to wrap until midnight later.  Finally, it was "Reveal Day."  We loaded up the truck with all the presents.  It was very full!
And we headed to the house where Ms. Belly's sister lived (another HS friend) and where we were having our Christmas Potluck.  We loaded up their tree...
And then we waited for the right time.  Everyone came and we all gathered and ate and drank.  Finally, after dinner was over and the dishes were done, we matriculated to the living room for some "small gifts".

 We passed a few out, ornaments to each other, and then Ms. Belly's sister passed a few to Music Maiden, her son and her hubby.  Kyle opened his...
 ... and loved the book and the Grinch toy he got.
 Then it was time for Dad.  Music Maiden's hubby opened his present and was very surprised, but appreciative of the gift card he got for clothes.
Then, it was time for the big guns...
like I said, we had a lot of cash donations from far and wide and I put them all in a box, along with the gift cards we received...
She was a bit surprised I think.

Then, we told her that everything left under the tree, was for them as well.  She kept saying, "Are you serious?  Are you serious?"
And she had this expression...amazement is it?

Anyway, it was a joyous day, but I think the best present I got was this photo the next morning of their pantry...
Isn't that a sight to see?  All from donations!!
So this Christmas, I feel like I have seen the Christmas spirit where it was needed.  I always try and help someone around Christmas, but I never get to see what it does.  The money always goes to a charity, or a church, but I'm never around to see the joy it brings.  This year I was and it was awesome.  I truly hope these folks don't need this kind of help next year, but it is the spirit of the season and sometimes that gets forgotten.  It didn't this year and it won't for a long time.  And here's one last photo, that is just too cute not to share.

Isn't he a cutie?  
And here's Music Maiden and myself (Nikus).  Good friends for a lotta years!

Mission Christmas Tree was a grand success and I'll be on a high all 2011 for helping these friends have a better Christmas.  I'm so very grateful for all those that donated because we couldn't have done it without any of them and I hear that I have a few late donations to pick up from the gym.  I've also received a couple last minute ones in the mail.  Thank you again to all those who helped and who reminded me what Christmas is all about!  It gets forgotten...but not this year!

Have a wonderful Christmas Bleaders and I hope you all see the Christmas Spirit like I did this year!

LOVE!
Nikus

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today, the world is a different place!!

Hello Bleaders, nothing crazy going on in my house, but down the street, things are going a little insane!  My Busted Kate birthed a beautiful baby boy today! He is perfect according to the text I just got at 7 lbs, 7 ounces and 19 inches long.  And his name is adorable...Tucker James!!!  Mom is doing well too according to the text I got just now from Lobster (one of our mutual friends).  Lobster and I worked out at boot camp this morning and we were bristling with anticipation of this wonderful day. 

Busted Kate will still call herself an Infertile I know for all she has been through, but now as a Mommy it's hard for me to think of her that way.  Not that she will ever forget her struggles and will always sympathize with my plight and those of other Infertiles, but she has graduated to Mommy-dom and I couldn't be happier!!

Happy Birthday Tucker!  Welcome to a wonderful family!!!!!!

Congrats to Busted Kate and hubby Adam!  Your lives are never going to be the same, but for the good.

What a wonderful way to start Thursday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Santa...

Yes, yesterday's post was a bit vent-y.  I get that.  So hopefully today's will be brighter...after all, it's gonna be a new year in just about 3 weeks.  If I were to write a letter to Santa this year, this is what it would say.

Dear Santa,
Thank you for all you do and all the joy you bring.  Over the years you have brought me many things, and I have enjoyed them a lot.  I even recall a kitten at one point who blessed our lives for many years.  However, I have a bit of a bigger request this year, although it too will bless us for many years to come.....

We've got a big year ahead of us I feel.  An expensive year.  And not because I intend to do a lot of shopping, but because I anticipate going through IVF in the coming months...probably around March as the case may be.  This is where the price tag comes in.  Turns out making a baby doesn't just require some margaritas and the person you love for us.  So, I would ADORE a rather large check in my stocking this year.  I mean, really quite large.  My doc's price tag is $8,770!  You read that right...$8,770.  Yeouch!  That's a decent used car!  Anyhow, if you happen to have a check of that nature lying around, please pick me!  I am over this waiting stuff and would be over-the-moon if that showed up.  We have some cash socked away, but I was really hoping to keep that for after el-bambino is born.  I'm definitely on "saver" mode after the holidays, but that's a lot to save, even to pay ourselves back!  A little help is very welcome!!!!

I guess request number two is for passing the CFP.  Should probably be request #1, but having a baby really is closer to my heart than passing the CFP if you can believe it.  While I may have wanted to pass the CFP for the last 5 years, I've wanted a baby for the last 30.  So if you gotta grant one, go with baby.  But if you have another one in your back pocket, please grant me a "pass" for the CFP.  Even if I just slide by, I'll be ever-so-happy.

I guess that's it this year, ya know, nothing much.  Oh, and don't forget to help all those other folks out there that need a helping hand (especially our friends that we have been getting donations for ).   Please take care of them too.  I know $8,500 could go a long way for those folks too, so I understand if you can't deliver that check to me.

But know that I desperately want it so maybe in 2011 we can have a baby!  That is my ultimate goal!!  I'd love a bigger check to cover 2 IVF cycles, given our history, but I can't bring myself to ask for that outright because so many people need help this year.  Even asking for the first check seems selfish.  How about no check, and just get me preggers before February!  No, that doesn't mean leaving Mrs. Claus and knocking at my door...you're a doll Santa, but just not my type.  A little Christmas magic would be great either way.

Thanks again for any way you can help us or our friends or anyone out this Christmas!  Love to Mrs. Claus and the elves,
Nikus

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The first Christmas party of the season

Hello my lovely Bleaders!  Even though I am not studying anymore for CFP, it still is difficult to blog a bunch lately with all this holiday stuff going on.  I've told many people that the holidays really blindsided me this year.  I was kind of in my own world from Halloween through Thanksgiving, and when I emerged it was time for Christmas shopping!  But I was just getting ready for Thanksgiving and birthday!  So I feel behind on everything...don't be upset if you don't get a Holiday card from us friends, you probably aren't the only one!  Anyway....

Last night was the first Christmas party of the season, followed by another this morning (yes, you read that right, this morning!) This morning's party was for my swim team that I have and love, but I don't participate in the winter because although I am in AZ and it's warmer than many places across the US, the pool is outside and at 5:30 or 7:30 in the morning, it's really not that warm out!  But they still invite me to the party, which I always laugh at because we swim at the Jewish Community Center (even though you don't have to be Jewish or a member to swim there) and we have had a Christmas party for about 4 years running now.  Who'd a thunk it?  So the party is in the morning because it is after the practice that I don't attend! ;)  It was and is always lovely.  But technically that was the 2nd party of the season...let's talk about the first, last night.

This party was supposed to be next weekend, but since so many people already had things going it looked like the turnout next Saturday was going to be very meager, so at the last minute they changed it to last night and oddly enough very MANY people showed up.  The people whose house it was at are great folks that we have known for a LONG time and kinda introduced J and me, so I gotta love them.  I wasn't too worried about this party and the fun questions that can cause Christmas parties to be not-so-enjoyable for us Infertiles because most of these folks know our situation and don't broach the subject with stupid remarks.  However, there is one person I was especially worried about that I had a hankering would be there.

(I thought I had posted about this situation, but I can't find it so I'll do a quick recount...I had been having a particularly hard day - maybe two years ago - AF showed up, I felt like crap, I had a long day at the office and I still needed to grocery shop.  I stopped at Walmart on the way home from work hoping to grab the few items I needed and get home for a glass of wine and to go to bed.  As I walked into Walmart, I saw a friend-of-a-friend whom I talk to close to never - in fact I recalled after this little scenario that the last time I had spoken to her had been at the Christmas party 10-11 months prior.  I was all set to be cordial and just say hi, etc.  She walked up and without even saying practically "hello" she said, "You're still not pregnant?"  Without even thinking, I looked her dead in the face and said, "no, we gave up.  We figured we'd be horrible parents!"  She mumbled something about having to get home to the kids and scedadlded.  Now I realize that that wasn't the nicest thing to say from me, but REALLY who walks up to someone you haven't seen in close to a year and without even saying "hello" and "how are you?" says, "You're still not pregnant?"  I was already feeling broken (and I realize she didn't know that) but really people, how insensitive are we?  She could have said so many other things..."how's the baby making going?" "What's happening in your life these days?" "How are you?" to name a few.  I went home absolutely fuming!  I actually felt my blood boil.)

So this lady was going to probably be at the party last night.  After the host called to tell me the party had switched, I realized this and texted her asking if she had talk to said lady and if they were coming.  She replied that she didn't know, but asked if I had a problem with her.  (Let me say here that very few people bug me...I'm a pretty friendly lady and I really try not to hold a grudge.  But that day said lady really rubbed me the wrong way with how brash and insensitive she was, and needless to say she's not high on my priority list to see.)  I reminded our hostess about what had happened with me and said lady and asked her to say something to said lady about not bringing up the subject of babies to us.  Not all of us procreate when our hubby looks at us.  So hostess texted back a few moments later having said the situation had been handled and I was very grateful.  Hostess said she had just asked said lady to not mention babies because we were very touchy on the subject, to which said lady apparently went off on a rant about how I won't accept her as a friend on FB and she wondered why.  Hostess asked if there was maybe said lady did that upset me and said lady could think of NOTHING.  Really, nothing comes to mind?!  Again, I do understand that not everyone's life revolves around me and our infertility woes, but NOTHING comes to mind?  Hostess, being the polite person she can be said something along the lines of, "well maybe you did something that you didn't realize upset her.  Just because it didn't upset you, doesn't mean it didn't upset her."  So, said lady was warned.

J and I went to the party and it was lovely.  Lots of old friends, good food and drink, laughs and memories.  Said lady seemed to be a no-show.  (DARN!)  Oops, I spoke too soon.  Her and her hubby wandered in about 10 pm I think.  My stomach immediately dropped into my toes.  She said hello and I tried my best to be nice and say hello back.  But I couldn't look at her.  I just couldn't.  I know the right thing to do is to forgive and forget, but I literally felt like I was gonna be sick with her standing beside me.  Let me say again that I am usually a very loving, outgoing and happy person.  (I swear I am!)  But try as I might, I can't let this one go.  I think it really bothers me that she has no freaking clue.  Anyhow, she left to go grab one of her kids to bring back to the party and we scooted out of there before she came back so I wouldn't have to have further agony.  I would call the party great times, except for those 15 minutes of torture.  But I do love Hostess, her hubby, their kids and many of the other folks that were there that we don't get to see enough.  And I'm very grateful Hostess did say something to warn said lady so we didn't have something else happen last night, although it kinda did anyway.

I do feel bad because I was rude and I am not a rude person.  I had the thought of emailing her to let her in on why I cold-shouldered her, but after a quick discussion with our Hostess, I decided that would create more drama than it was worth.  And as it turns out, our Hostess was again confronted after said lady returned with her child about my attitude, and our lovely Hostess tried to clue her in to her insensitiveness without recounting actual events and from what I hear, it sounds like said lady may not understand where we're at, but at least that there's a bigger problem going on than she is aware of - having gotten pregnant really quickly with both children.  I am hoping she got the picture and won't be insensitive to the next Infertile she meets, or me at next year's party.  Hostess and another friend handled it for me and that is a wonderful gift in and of itself (thanks ladies!!)!!  However, if said lady friends me again on FB, I may respond with the actual episode.  We'll see.

Okay, sorry for the vent.  I just hate the Insensitives!  Tomorrow, I'll post my letter to Santa...and it will be happy.

Happy Sunday Bleaders!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Guiliana & Bill UPDATE (SPOILER ALERT) & More Media Coverage

Hello my lovlies...it's been a little bit hasn't it?  Time to catch up....

J and I watched Guiliana & Bill the other night (technically, I did because he recently commandeered my old laptop and discovered Facebook while sitting in his lazyboy....I may never see him again!) and while WE had learned about Guiliana's miscarriage weeks ago on the show, in the time frame of the show, the general public wasn't yet informed for obvious reasons.  So this show was about them telling the general public and Guiliana's speech to her E! public.  I couldn't find the speech she gave, but suffice to say, it was appreciated by me that she wasn't keeping it a "dirty little secret" as infertility seems to be and she was very open about the situation, despite how difficult her speech was to make.  She did great and I'm very proud of her.  I did find a couple other clips of G&B talking about their issues:

Guiliana & Bill on CNN


Guiliana & Bill on Fertility Lifelines

This one is an article I came up on my search for the clip of Guiliana's speech on E! that I wasn't able to find:
Guiliana & Bill in Self

My point is, and has been a lot lately, that infertility isn't a "dirty little secret" anymore and it is okay to talk about IF YOU WANT TO.  I understand there are people that keep this kind of thing private and I do understand why.  I can only speak for myself when I say that I felt like I was broken and nobody wanted to hear me talk about that, however more often than not when the conversation switched to infertility, all kinds of stories came up about the person I was talking to or their sister/mother/brother's wife/friend/etc. that I was blown away.  Once you open the gate, it all comes tumbling out and you don't feel so alone.  That's the big thing for us Infertilies...we aren't the ONLY people in the world that this is happening too.  That may sound silly to someone not in the situation, but at 31 with so many preggos popping up (sometimes it seems like daily - I have 5 baby blankets on back-order to make!), it is hard to handle being the only one that doesn't get to say those blessed two words ("I'm pregnant!). 

And my parents' generation is ready to ask me "when we're having babies" because we've been married 6 years (7 in April, together for 9!) and in their minds "it's time."  I can't just say it is my parents' generation because even for me that is the question I ask to my friends when they have been married for a bit...maybe less-so now because of where we stand, but definitely not the rest of the world....especially that one guy at that one party that is just trying to be nice, but doesn't get the hint that he either needs to walk away or let the subject drop because his advice of "getting drunk and doin' it" is getting old and has been said to us, as if we didn't think of it WAY long ago.

Now last night, J and I were watching $#*! My Dad Says on TV, which is becoming one of our favorite shows (and J did put the computer down to watch this show), and I won't say it was all about infertility, but there definitely was a splash of it.  Totally blindsided me and I was really proud of the show producers.  For those of you who haven't seen this show, it is your run-of-the-mill sitcom with William Shatner as the Dad who says random things and is just an odd, old, army guy who seems to be unfeeling with his 2 sons living in the house or close-by and one son's wife.  The son and wife wanted to get a dog "not because they wanted a baby" as was made blatently clear in the first few moments of the show.  They end up not being granted the rescue dog they wanted because the reviewer also decided they wanted a dog for the wrong reasons, so Dad (William Shatner) gives the wife a bulldog and in a very uncommon moment at the very end while she is loving on the dog, he puts his hand on her shoulder and visually squeezes, to which she puts her hand on his.  Now given the nature of the rest of the show, this was just very sweet and hit me head on.  Not the place that I would expect to see a little infertility, but very happy that it is becoming more mainstream so Infertiles like me don't feel so alone in this battle.

To close, once again modern media is making me very happy with their recent change in discussion of infertility and hoping that it is becoming less of a "dirty little secret" and more openly discussed.  That's not to say that everyone should think their advice will get me pregnant!  But don't be afraid to open your mouth and say, "I know someone struggling to conceive too.  Good luck with whatever you do, let me know if you ever want to talk."  That goes much further than telling them to get drunk and "do it!"

Now at 2 pm almost, I'm off to find lunch!  Have a wonderful weekend folks!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do you believe in Angels?

Hi Bleaders, I know it's been a bit since I wrote.  Just can't get my head straight on with the holidays hitting me in the face.  I swear they snuck up on me...probably because from October to Thanksgiving I was in a hole studying for CFP!  So I'm now ready for Thanksgiving (even though my belt will tell you we need-ent go back there) instead of Christmas!  Back to my belt for a second, on my first week of back at WW, I'm down 5 lbs!  5.2 to be exact!  YAY me!  I know the rest won't come off that fast, but that's what happens when you eat out for about 9 days straight around Thanksgiving and birthday!  Okay, now on to the angels.

I have a friend who I met through Sparkpeople.com a couple years back.  Ash is a wonderful presence in my life even though I have never met her.  Sparkpeople.com is a fitness website, similar to WW but free and just counts calories.  Anyway, she lost a lot of weight and looks awesome and is just a little firework.  She just had a precious baby girl - Annabelle.  She and I have emailed a lot over the years with inspiration and talking of our situations, so she's up to date on all my happenings.  Anyway, she is awesome.  Back in March when I was some days late with AF, she asked if she could do a reading with my Angels for me.  I was a little skeptical, but said sure, just as I left for the doc to get a blood test upon which as I sat there, AF showed up...big waste of $28 for a blood test!  Anyway, upon my return to work, she had my reading waiting for me.  Man, it was dead on.  Dead on!  I was already weepy because of what had happened that morning, but this put me over the edge, full fledged tears and at the office, lovely.  It's hard to read something that is so true and not believe, especially because I have never met Ash personally.

Well, recently, I asked her to do another one for me and I've asked if I could post it.  Yet again, it's dead on.  So here's what she said (know that I may or may not have pulled things out that are just a little too personal).  Be skeptical, but I am not.

Reading began...I'll comment in red about how things are relevant.

**While I have interpretations and words that come to me while doing readings, your interpretations are VERY important since this is YOUR reading. Make sure you listen to your thoughts, ideas, and body messages, as they will often give you thoughts and clues.**

12/2/10 at 12:12 EST I started your reading and those numbers are significant. 1s mean think positively and only about what you want, not what you don't want, as your thoughts are shaping your future. 2s mean keep the faith. (I always think "I don't want to not get pregnant" guess I need to change that.)

As soon as I called upon your angels, two male angels appeared. (When I read this, what are we 4 sentences in, I was done.  Both of my grandfathers have passed and I think about them often - my Mom's Dad loved trains and every time I hear the whistle blow in the morning, I tell him hello.  I was on the other side of town a couple weeks back and happened to drive past the cemetery where my Pappy is buried.  I don't know what came over me, but I needed to find him there, even taking my heels off and wandering through the cemetery barefoot for about 20 minutes til I found him. So you could say we're close.) They wanted you to know that you are safe, protected, and they are always with you, so never feel alone. They also love you very much.  (Ash made this comment after I told her who I thought the angels were....And the fact that the two men really wanted me to emphasize that they love you and are always with you makes me believe you are right...they most likely are your grandfathers.)

Ok, now to the cards.

COUNSELOR- you are being counseled in your sleep, so make sure you are getting enough sleep, as this is the time your angels are working with you the most. You may need to seek help from a counselor, if you feel it necessary, but know that you are a natural counselor for yourself, all you have to do is trust yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings. (I am constantly telling myself I am okay...whether I am working out or attempting the CFP.)

PROSPERITY- financially you are okay, just remember to think positively.

CAREER TRANSITION- you are going to have a career change soon that will help you to meet your life's purpose. *The woman on the card had these piercing eyes that made me feel like you've been LOOKING for this career change for a while*  (I really hope this means that I passed the CFP because that will change my career vastly and it makes sense if I have been LOOKING for it for a while.)

***Are Nikus and J ready for baby?***

When I asked this, your angels told me "no, net yet, there is 1 more step to take in the next year." And then I pulled these cards. (IVF is slated for this year, could this mean it will work?)

YOUR WISH IS GRANTED- Yes, you are ready and your wish will be granted, but not until (see you below)

BUSINESS VENTURE- your career/business change is complete. Follow through on your thoughts and ideas about changing careers, they will bring about great change. After that (see below) (Again, this goes back to me asking God to let me get pregnant after CFP)

PREGNANCY- wahoo! There will be the birth of a child. (!)

SPRING- Your wish will manifest itself in the spring time. (In my head, I have anticipated beginning after I know the answer to CFP, and that happens in January but then means 2 months of birth control which puts us at mid-March....hello spring! I realize this could also mean the baby is born in the spring, which would mean we're pregnant next summer.  I'm good with that too!  Anytime, I'm good with it!)

***Will it happen naturally?***

READY, SET, GO- NOW is the time to go after your desires.

REST- relax and take care of yourself (believe me, you won't have time to take care of you for a VERY long time) (Ash just had a baby so she kinda knows about not having time to take care of yourself, and I just rejoined WW so am taking care of me).

YES- :) (!)

TIME TO MOVE ON- it is time to let go of those old emotions, old disappointments, and just let this happen on it's own time with no strings to the past. (I do this so much and it's hard to get over having no real progress on the baby front, with the exception of no spotting.  Hopefully beginning IVF and taking care of myself will help with this.)

***Will she need help?***

YES- (I thought this counteracted the previous question, so I asked the question below)

***What kind of help?***

VACUUM AWAY FEAR- get rid of fear, you are holding yourself back by your fear of not conceiving and the fear of all the past 'failed' attempts (though they weren't truly failed attempts, as it will all happen at the right time) (Refer to above question...I am very fearful and that's hard to get rid of.  But apparently I need to do just that)

INDIGO CHILD- the child that is waiting to come to you is VERY sensitive and can feel all your emotions. So make sure they are all positive. (Again, hard to do.  On some things I am very positive, on others I am positively negative, conception being one of those.)

CANCEL, CLEAR, DELETE- when you do think of something negative, you need to cancel, clear, and delete that thought. A good way to do this is by saying "cancel, clear, delete" and sweep your wrists with your other hand's fingers. Then think of what you really do want (replace the negative with a positive).  (Interesting!)

***What does she need to know about money?***

ALL IS WELL- money is exactly as it should be

CLEAR YOUR SPACE- it is time to de-clutter your life and home though, so if you have things you don't want or need, sell them for extra income.  (I swear I said to J the other day that we needed to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom because that will become the nursery and there isn't room for baby stuff.  Guess after the holidays, that is what I'll do!)

***Is there anything else she needs to know?***

DIETARY CHANGE- make sure you are eating healthy and taking vitamins (Hello, do you not remember my post about hating my prenatals...guess we better get re-acquainted.  I am eating healthy on WW, so good there, but just recently)

CONNECT WITH NATURE- we all come from this great Earth, so take time to connect with it. Go outside, enjoy the weather, dig your feet in the dirt, PLANT A SEED.  (I am not an earthy person, except for boot camp, then I get real close...can't say I enjoy it, but I get real close.  Although, I can't live without my AZ sunsets!  THE BEST EVER!  And I have a black thumb, maybe we'll have J plant a seed.  No pun intended, okay, maybe a little bit!)

LET GO- let go of the past, move on (Again, very hard to get over all the failure...I'm not used to failing at things)

(The next couple of cards are from a deck of cards that I am making to sell and am still working on. They are meant for children, teenagers, and those people who don't have much experience with oracle cards).

STRENGTH- be strong and have strength

PRESERVE- hold onto the things that are important to you and don't let disappointments bring you down (need I repeat? Are we seeing a trend?)

KINDNESS- be kind to yourself, in your thoughts and actions (Meanie Christinie is always telling me that I need to accept who I am, I know she is talking weight, but I have days where I am mean to myself, especially lately.)

SPEND- this card can mean many things, including it is okay to spend money on things you need and want, but since FAMILY came after it, I believe it means to spend time with your family (Ummm....Christmas is here and this weekend is Christmas shopping time!)

FAMILY- :)
End of the Reading

So, now who doesn't believe?  Again, this really hit home for me and I am hopeful that I can do many of the things Pappy and Grandpa E told Ash.  I will continue to talk to them always and believe that their hands are at my back.  If you want to know more about these wonderful men in my life (and now my angels) here is the blog about Pappy and Grandpa E.  Ash is now starting to do readings for people for a small fee.  If you are interested in contacting her, you can email me at nikusroad@gmail.com and I'll forward your info to her.  She is truly blessed and so am I to know her and have this little insight from above.  Incredible!

Now another quick note...I know, this one is getting long, sorry....I have a dear friend who is struggling this holiday.  I've known her since high school and she is truly great.  Her hubby and kid aren't bad either... ;) .  Anyway, there are about 6 of us from high school that still hang out quite often and we've decided that it isn't okay that they don't have a Christmas tree nor presents for their almost-3-year-old son.  These people are truly struggling to stay afloat (she's a teacher and he runs his own handyman business and photography business), but despite that, this past weekend he held an all day photo shoot with all the proceeds going to a family from their church that is trying to adopt (this hits especially close to my heart because I realize we may need this some day, some help raising money for IVF or Adoption and I love that there are people out there willing to do that - my heart swells).  How can you not love someone who does that?!  Especially many of the people in this group understand what a costly process that is.

So since yesterday we've been trying to get people to donate things to help them have a great holiday.  If there are any big hearts out there who want to help, please let me know.  We're hoping to do a big Santa-drop next weekend!  And all help is welcome....I've posted on FB and had good response, also dropped a box at my gym and my office building, while the other ladies are doing the same.  I know the holidays are rough, but who doesn't have a toy at home their kid doesn't play with or a gift card in their purse that they forgot about and can donate (I just discovered one the other day that I forgot about!).  Like I said, any help is welcome.  Just let me know if you are able.

Have a wonderful day and week folks, and remember, tell your Angels you love them, they are with you whether you believe it or not....I do every day!!  Love you Pappy!  Love you Grandpa E!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm born again...and it pisses me off when...

Hello folks!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great couple of days off from work - if you are in the US that is!  If you aren't in the US, I hope you just had a wonderful weekend.

Last week was a bit ridiculous, eating wise anyway.  Besides 2 Thanksgiving meals, both which had to be around the 2000-3000 calorie range, there were also a slew of birthday celebrations which all circled around food or drinking!  Therefore, I rejoined Weight Watchers this morning, with the beginning of their new program and the ability to go to as many meetings as necessary in a month for one low monthly cost, as well as online use!  Here I come...some would say I didn't need to do that, but I feel I did.  When I told J, his response was, "why?!"  I told him I wasn't happy with how I looked and felt.  I can workout with the best of them, but I can also eat anything and everything in sight!  So, here we go again.  WW has changed their program a bit and their pay structure (making what I like to do - online and meetings CHEAPER!) and I'm all in.  I'm welcoming anyone who wants to join me.  So that was why I am born again!  Born again to be slimmer!

Now for "It pisses me off when..."
I think I am a pretty cool-headed person, usually.  I mean, I do get mad about things, but not nearly what I used to.  Anyway, just like anyone, there are a couple things that will ALWAYS rub me the wrong way.  

1. People who spell my name wrong
I have a VERY simple name.  Four letters for the first name and four for the last.  I have never seen people spell a simple name, so very wrong, friends and new acquantinces alike.  The correct way is "N...I...K...I."  In incorrect ways I have seen it are as follows:
Nickie
Nikki
Nickey
Nikky
Nickiey
Nicci
---really, need I go on?  It is really quite simple.  And the fact that it gets spelled wrong on Facebook (under the correct spelling) and in emails (of which my name is PART OF) really irks me.  Also, people I have known for a long time who spell my name wrong.  To me it is just disrespectful.  Many people are good, but some I just want to smack.  Especially if they are trying to get back into my good graces because we've lost touch or whatever...come on.  Four letters!

2. People who forget my birthday (and birthdays in general)
Now, I admit I have done this in the past and probably will upon occasion in the future.  But this is really bad.  I've dealt with it my whole life because not only does my birthday fall on my parents' anniversary (which makes their date get forgotten) but it is also right around Thanksgiving.  So as a child when we tried to plan my birthday party, it would always have to be before or after, and then it wasn't fun.  As a teenager when all my friends were getting balloons at school from friends on their birthdays, my friends typically forgot because they were excited they wouldn't be in school or would be out of town.  I spent my 21st birthday with one of my guy friends' girlfriends at the time, because no one else was around to celebrate.  When people showed up at our house for Thanksgiving, they would automatically say, "Happy Thanksgiving" and maybe hours later remember that it was my birthday too, or quite possibly my parents' anniversary, but mostly not at all.  So am I sensitive about people remembering my birthday, especially close friends?  Absolutely.  And do I try my damndest to not forget others birthdays because I know how it feels and it sucks?  You better believe it.  And how annoyed do you think I am when some well-meaning person sends me a birthday message a week late, with my name misspelled?  Let's just say I grit my teeth and respond, all-the-while mistakenly spelling their name wrong, to prove a point, which many times goes right over their head.  Sorry, touchy subject.  (For future reference, my birthday is November 23rd...mark your calendar now!)  Now I realize that people's lives don't revolve around me, but it's not that hard for friends and family to put a reminder somewhere and send a card, give a call or even shoot a text.  I'll take anything!  Just feels good to that person and should feel good to the person sending because they made that person's day!

3. People who think they are entitled.
We covered this a while back, but to reiterate...you need to earn what you want.  Every breath you take, every success you want, earn it and then I believe you deserve it.  But don't tell me you are entitled to it because you put in the time, but not the effort.  Nuff said.

Alright folks, it's taken me all day to write this because I've been working (read: not studying!) and now I need to eat some low points dinner and go to my WW meeting.  Have a wonderful evening and eat well!

OH - if you want to subscribe via email, go to the top of the page and on the left hand side, enter your email address and click subscribe.  I just always forget to say that.  Night!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My birthday - as told by my Mother


Hello folks.  Today is my 31st birthday.  So in lieu of what I have accomplished to this point, I asked my Mom to tell about my birth.  A couple notes...my parents had no issues conceiving me what-so-ever.  In fact, they kind of got their weeks messed up when they were trying not to conceive, and there I was 9 months later.  So here's that story.

The Story of Nikus’s birth
As remembered on November 23, 2008 by her Mother

On Thanksgiving Day, I didn’t eat turkey dinner; I just didn’t like the idea of food.  However, when the pecan pie was served about 6 pm at Phyllis and Bud’s (my Dad's parents) house, I ate a big piece!  (I never was a big fan of pecan pie!)  I must have been huge, since my due date was the very next day!

I remember waking early, about 4 am, with weak labor pains.  I prepared:  I washed my hair, gathered my things together, before waking Daniel (my Dad) about 5 to tell him that I thought it was time to go.  He drove me to TMC in the pickup truck and we checked in.

My water broke just as I got into the hospital bed.  (Great timing!  What a mess that would have been in the truck!)  Labor pains intensified.  Soon I was begging for relief which came in the form of an epidural, about 8 am.  The anesthesiologist would administer a shot in my lower back to “deaden” the lower half of my body.  I could see the contractions happening on the monitor but couldn’t feel them.  The epidural lasted for an hour.  Then we had to find the anesthesiologist to ask for another shot.  It took awhile to find him and I was in major pain by the time he came so I learned to send Daniel to search for him at the 45 minute mark so he’d be in my room ready to give me the next shot just before the prior one wore off.  (I’m such a wimp about pain!)  I remember getting six shots!  And that took a LONG time to work itself out of my body after you were born.

At 12:45 pm, the doctor and the nurse checked me and said, “This baby isn’t coming.  You aren’t dilated enough.  We’re going to need to do a C-Section.”   The doc left the room to get prepared and the nurse said, “Let’s pray that your baby hears us and decides to make an appearance so that you don’t have to go to surgery.”  (A C-Section was major surgery and would have meant a 2 week recovery.)

Daniel went into the bathroom to gown himself for the surgery.  The doc came back and said, “Thank God!  You are completely dilated, the baby is crowning.  It’s time!  Let’s go to the birthing room.”  They pushed my bed down the hall quickly.

Daniel came out of the bathroom to an empty room.  He walked into several birthing rooms before he found me but he got there in time to see you being born.

You were healthy, pink and as responsive as a baby needs to be.  The nurses guessed at your weight before you were born:  one said eight pounds, 3 ounces and the other said eight pounds, four ounces.  You were born between 1 and 2 pm and weighed 8 pounds, 3½ ounces!

Daniel and I married on Saturday, November 23, 1974 in Muncie, Indiana.  You were born on Friday, November 23, 1979, five years to the hour, adjusted for the time change, of our wedding.

We stayed in the hospital Friday and Saturday and came home on Sunday.  I spent the next six weeks at home with you but did bank reconciliations for my employer at home because I needed things to occupy my mind.

Daniel was the best husband and father!  I nudged him awake in the middle of the night when I heard you crying.  He’d go to your room on the other side of the house, change your diaper, bring you to me and I’d nurse you.  When you were full, I’d elbow him again, and he’d take you back to your crib.

I nursed you for seven months, expressing milk in the office bathroom, brought it home in a cooler, froze it, then thawed it a day later for the babysitter to use.

I stopped breast feeding after the Iowa trip in June, 1980, for Daisy’s (my aunt) wedding.  That was the wedding that Uncle Leo met Aunt Shawna because she babysat you while Daniel and I were involved with Daisy’s wedding.  (Shawna was the groom's cousin.)

So that's the story as told by my Mom, written out a couple years ago.  And I leave you with that.  Happy Birthday to me and Happy Anniversary to my parents!

LOVE!

Monday, November 22, 2010

BIG NASTY is over...well, almost.

Hello my lovely Bleaders!  Thank you for NOT deserting me in my time of CFP and relative insanity!  I'm going to try and do a quick run-down of the events of last week and get it out of my system for good - forgive me if you have already heard these stories from me directly as I talked to a number of you recently!  (And by the way, thanks for that!)  I would say this will be my last post about CFP, but that probably isn't the case...especially since I don't know my score yet.  Bear with me...

Let's see...where did we leave off?  Ahh...yes, Wednesday of last week.  Still studying my eyes out and still having some struggles.

Thursday morning, I did manage to go to boot camp for some last minute inspiration from my ladies and they didn't disappoint!  Came home, packed, studied and drove to Phoenix, all-the-while trying to breathe deep and build myself up.  Checked into the hotel and was relatively surprised at how nice it was.  Got settled, checked in with the office for the last time, and then got set up to study.  That was when I realized the room had INCREDIBLY thin walls.  The "neighbors" came home and started to watch TV.  Only problem was, I was knee-deep in study mode and that works best in absolute silence.  So after battling a bit with earplugs and trying to stay calm, I gave up on studying until later.  The hotel had a free "social" hour, so I headed down for my two free glasses of wine, which I brought back to the room and stuck in the fridge before heading out to find dinner.  Gotta love Qdoba!  It was way yum and way too much, so I had enough for lunch the next day.  When I returned back to the hotel, called J to catch up on his day and ate dinner.  Studied a bit more, watched some TV (studied through the commercials) and then decided it was time for bed - neighbors were still MIA...until I turned the lights off!  Then, they came in and the TV went from silent to blaring.  After battling a little over 30 minutes trying to go to sleep, I finally called the front desk and asked them very nicely to call the neighbors and ask them to turn the TV down.  They thankfully did, but the walls were so thin it really didn't help all that much.  I may have finally drifted off to sleep about 11 or 12.  So much for getting a good night's sleep.

Friday, test day one.  I tend to do better on tests if I get up and work out before.  Nothing crazy, just get the blood pumping and the mind working, so that was my plan.  I figured out a schedule so I could get to the test on time, have lunch, and still have some time to study that morning.  So I was up about 6 am and headed to the "swanky" gym at the hotel (1 exercise bike, 1 elliptical and 1 treadmill, oh and a flat screen TV - WOW!) and hopped on the elliptical, flashcards in hand for some review.  Managed to get through the flashcards just about the time my 30 minutes were up, perfect.  Stopped at the cafe for my free breakfast (eggs, sausage links, hash browns, oranges, coffee, toast, etc. - pretty good selection although I really wasn't all that hungry...nerves were acting up in my stomach) and took a little break.  Then it was back to the room to shower and study some more.  Got settled and went through the questions I had previously gotten wrong on practice tests to decipher if I could get them right and did pretty well.  Lunch real quick - thank you Qdoba leftovers that were still very yum! 

Then it was time to head out.  WOW, very scary.  Found my way to the testing site easily enough and finally found the correct building...as I watched people walking in with faces of scared-ness.  Parked, gave myself one last pep talk and walked in.  As I was walking, a guy was coming up from the parking lot too and I looked at him, he looked at me, then said, "You ready for the CFP?"  I asked how he knew and he said, "You have the same look on you face, that I feel I have on mine."  I replied back, "Sheer terror?!"  He laughed.  So he became my buddy, but we never swapped names.  Anyway, walked in and bantered a bit about nerves, questions, etc.  Finally got called to our rooms, and what-do-you-know, he was in mine.  There were probably 15 people in my room, 1 other female.  I joked to her that we had to "represent" because we were the minority!  Oh, and I had found a shirt at Target a couple days before that was purple (ahem - favorite color) and said "Believe" on it in rhinestones...talk about a perfect shirt for the CFP, so was wearing that.  A couple people said something about that too.  I said, "I need all the help I can get!"

We checked in, IDs checked, registration ticket checked and were assigned a seat.  Once everyone was seated, they started the instructions...lots of them.  Passed out the booklet that is SEALED shut and the scantron sheet.  Here's how you fill in your name.  Here's how you fill in your numbers. Yada yada.  Finally, "open your test booklets and begin."  The ripping sound in the room was deafening as everyone dove in.  I would love to tell you what the first question was, but honestly, I have no clue.  Friday's test was 115 questions in 4 hours, so my brain was spent.  A couple interesting things during the test...let's see, the guy next to me was a knuckle-cracker, so about every couple minutes that was enjoyable.  About half way, I heard movement so I looked up to see the other woman in the room handing her test booklet in and packing up her things.  How could she be done?!  I was barely half-way!  Holy cow!  I decided either she really knew her stuff, or she had NO CLUE!  Whatever, back to me.  About hour 3.5, other people started getting up to turn in their books and leave, while I still scooted along.  I knew how many questions I had to get through each hour and had been doing well, but got laid up by the case study, so now I was trying to be a little quicker just to make sure I got all the questions ANSWERED!  Finally made it and 2 minutes later (as I was checking another question) the proctor said, "Pencils down."  Day one was complete.  Of course they had to collect the tests from us and then we were finally dismissed.  I walked out and had no thoughts.  None.  I was empty.  Mom had left me a message telling me she was proud, no matter the outcome, so that was nice to walk out and hear since no one was there with me.

I have a few friends in Phoenix and they had all expressed desire to go to dinner or something while I was there, but I put them off saying I won't know until the test is over how I feel.  I decided I did need some interaction and I did have to eat, so dinner would be great.  Called my friend who I haven't seen forever, and she agreed to come get me so we could go to dinner.  She had to go pick up her son, so I scooted back to the hotel (which took me 40 minutes - even though it had taken me 20 at noon - which is why I don't like Phoenix very much) and got my free wine for the night.  I anticipated drinking the wine when I got back, but instead downed it then and there as I waited, which wasn't very long for my friend.  She found the hotel and we went across the street to 5-&-Diner for dinner.  It was nice and we split something so not too terrible for me.  I haven't seen her son since he was probably 1, and now he is 6, so that was quite incredible.  We just talked and tried to catch up, but having not seen each other for that long, it proved difficult.  I was also watching my clock so I wouldn't get to bed too late.  We departed about 8 I think and she dropped me off at the hotel.  Amazingly, my neighbors weren't there.  So I got a little studying done, really just looking up some things I had questions about and reviewing what I could.  Tried to go to bed early, but what do you know, the neighbors were back!  Lovely.  Let me tell you, they were watching David Letterman...couldn't hear the jokes, but knew the voice.  Man, those walls were thin.  I stuck my earplugs in, prayed for the best and fell asleep maybe after an hour, only to be up again at 1 and 2 and possibly 3 with loud people coming back from bars or something down the hallway.  Again, not as restful as I would have hoped.  But, what can you do?

Side note: I did my best all week to amp myself up for this test.  Had bought a new CD by Katy Perry and found this song that did it all for me.  So I share with you.  (Email folks, you may have to click the link to see it...totally worth it!)



Okay, back to my story...Saturday morning, despite my best efforts, I was up about 5:30 am.  So, to the gym for a little workout again and study-time.  Got to the gym and my key-card didn't work.  Uh oh.  That made me think it wouldn't work at my room!  Got back to my room and it did work, so called the front desk and they sent the security guy to the door.  I met him there and his didn't work.  After messing with it for a bit, he went for the "old-fashioned" key (you know, the metal one!) and couldn't get the cover off the lock.  Asked me if I could "come back in a bit?" to which I, probably sounded a little crazy when I said, "NO!  I can't, it's now or never."  He wandered away to call for help and I messed with the cover, and managed to get it off in his absence.  Called him back over and he let me in.  YAY!  One victory.  Chose the bike that day and went through my notes for 30 minutes while I cycled away on the "fat burner" cycle.  Grabbed breakfast again before heading back to the room...was joined that morning by 4 kitties that were wandering around, so of course I fed them sausage and milk from the buffet, which they loved, the minute I walked away.  Back to the room, showered, packed up and headed to the desk to check out, commenting on the thinness of the walls to the clerk.  Then headed to the test site again, with still time to spare to study in the car.  Again, reviewed my notes and then it was time to head in.  This time, took in my water (which I had left out the day before because they told me I couldn't have it, but many people did) and my bag with snacks, just in case.  Caught up with the guy from the day before, and we chatted a bit about our scoring theories and how we did the day before.  Both of us commented on the chickie that had left at the half-way point, wondering if she would be back.  Time to check in and our girl was there, so away we went.  Same instructions about filling in name, number, etc.  We started early because now everyone knew what to do.  And away we went - 85 questions in 3 hours.

Even though I had just had breakfast, my stomach started growling (quite loudly to me) about an hour and a half in.  So I asked if I could go outside and have some almonds that I had brought with me.  It was approved and that did make me feel better.  Upon my return, I looked at the other woman in the room and wouldn't you know it, she was packing up!  How in the devil was she doing this?!  INSANE!  No one else left until at least 45 minutes later!  I plowed through and again stayed until the very last.  We now had about an hour and 15 minutes for lunch.  Headed to the car and thankfully I have GPS on my phone (I had planned on eating at the cafe at the school, but it was closed on Sat and Sun) so I found a gyro place and was quite happy with that, only to discover once I got there that it was closed!  GPS'd again and found a sandwich place that was close by, so got there quite quickly.  Texted back and forth to J a bit (remember, he was in Globe, AZ for Grandma Jo's funeral) so our chat was quick because people were starting to arrive.  Mom had left me a message while I was testing so I listened to that while I ate, but didn't call her back knowing she was on her way to Globe for the funeral, after having issues at home with some plumbing apparently.  Back to the test site and parked the car next to someone else studying in her car.  She had the windows rolled down, so I rolled mine down and said, "What are you struggling with?"  She replied, "I'm taking this big test today here."  I said, "CFP?  Me too."  She lightened and we figured out we had the same test (there were 2 books in each session so people wouldn't cheat).  We ran through some questions that had given us issues and it came out that it was her second time taking the test.  We began our walk to the testing rooms, stopping at the bathroom and I told her about the girl in our room that was always done at the half-way mark.  As we exited the bathroom, that girl was there so I excused myself briefly to ask her for her secret.  She laughed and then quite seriously said, "I'm unprepared."  Her friend said that wasn't the case, but she insisted.  I smiled and wished her good luck again, then rejoined my new friend.  Just before we went our separate ways, my new friend asked what company I worked for and upon telling her, she replied, "me too!"  We agreed to wait around for each other so we could swap info after the test was over.  And away we went...last session.

At this point, we're all a little loopy.  We've already done 200 questions and have 85 more to go.  My buddy in my room, said something to the girl who was leaving early about not letting her out (since he was seated by the door) if she tried to leave at the half way mark.  She smiled.  We began again with the instructions and then the test.  And, I looked up at the half-way mark again and there she was, standing up to leave.  I chuckled to myself and continued on.  At this point, I am getting really tired of testing.  Every question I think I know and then they throw something in that derails me!  I did the best I could, of course staying until the last.  I actually had about 30 minutes to review some problem questions when I finished, so did that and because it was me and one other guy, we both agreed to be done and we were let out a couple minutes early.  You are allowed to tell the testing board of questions that you don't see as fair for one reason or another, so I wrote down one that just seemed un-feasible.  At the very least, they review it and possibly throw it out.  I exited and again, I'm empty.  I have no thought.  My new friend wasn't done yet, so I walked outside, sent a text to many friends saying I was done and my "fate was sealed."  Finally, my friend came out and she said she felt devastated.  I won't say that I felt that way, but I definitely felt like I would be lucky to pass.  So many questions with so many little details, probably 25% that I deal with on a daily basis in real life.  We compared answers of questions we remembered for a while.  I gave her my card so she could email me and we could keep in touch back at the office.  Finally asked what planner she worked for and low-and-behold, it is a good friend of my Mom's.  So I have a feeling we'll be talking more and more.  Finally, after an hour of comparing notes, sob stories and what parts of life we can now get back to, we said our good-byes and I headed for home.

Found my way to the freeway, and called my Dad back who had called while I was talking to my new friend, Anna.  We talked about my day and his day (he hadn't been able to go to the funeral because of the plumbing issues at the house) and how things were.  Finally, off the phone and just driving.  Called a couple other people to download and tried to find my Mom and J, knowing they were together and should be heading home from Globe by now.  Finally caught up with them and downloaded the day's events, as well as my new friend, Anna's story.  Beat J to the house and got a huge welcoming from the animals, then unloaded and about that time, J got home.  He had told me he was bringing dinner from Globe, so I just needed a drink at that point.  Sat for a while and discussed the events of the day, while I ate and finally were able to relax and watch TV.  We were both exhausted so headed to bed relatively early for a Saturday night.

Oh - one more thing to remember.  Remember how I talked about the guy in the cram class (Father-of-Twins) that hadn't studied and asked a lot of not-so-smart questions?  Well, I looked for him at the test and I didn't see him.  Said something to new-friend-Anna who was in the room that had A last names, and she asked if his name started with J.  I said yes and she said that there was someone who was supposed to be in their room but never checked in with J for first initial and A for last.  I'm just sayin', that's probably him! He didn't show.  Now this test costs $600 to take, and after October 5th or something, you can't get your money back.  So what a moron he is for not even attempting it and seeing how it felt, even if he was sure he wouldn't pass.  Again, he is an ASU supporter...I'm just sayin'.  He might have helped my "curve" if he was there! ;)

Now I know what you are gonna say, "how do you think you did?" and I really don't want to answer that question.  Don't get me wrong, I knew some answers right off the bat.  But others, like I said before totally threw me and more than a few I totally guessed on.  I don't get my score until January, so hopefully I'll be able to relax through the holidays.  And, if I don't pass, well, then I do it again.  At least now I know what it feels like and a couple things to review.  I'll get it done...either this time or another. 

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again.  Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for all the love and support you guys give me, about CFP and all the other stuff.  It does make a difference and I appreciate it greatly! 

I'm off to find some coffee and possibly get in the hot tub.  Have a great one folks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Probably the last post before CFP exam on FRIDAY! (OMG!)

Hello folks, it's been a long week.  A very L-O-N-G week, and it's only Wednesday.  This will probably be my last post before big nasty ensues!

When last we left, Grandma Jo had just passed and we were recovering...that was very difficult.  You think about calling her, and then you realize you can't.  But, on the upside, I think her hand is behind me as I go for my test!  She always had questions about finances, and while she might not listen to her son (J's Dad), she always at least pretended to listen to what financial advice I had for her.  ;)

Studying was progressing, but very slowly and painfully.  It didn't help that AF showed up Monday Tuesday (I thought she got in Monday, but Tuesday she proved she didn't until Tuesday).  It was a rough one...I was laid out, opting between curled in a ball on the bed and looking for more pain killers.  Boot camp was a "hell-no-go" and the rest of the day I felt pretty blah...actually studied in bed and took a 4-hour practice exam.  Yup, 4 hours.  But somehow I finished about hour 3 and got my highest score to date - yesterday.  Still wasn't over passing, but 1 question away!  Then, last night, J brought in my birthday card from Grandma Jo.  Wow, it was like she knew what was happening.  It was all about believing in yourself.  Who is to say that someone (from above) isn't leading our hand when we pick cards like that?  Not me.  So yup, cried last night.

Today, there was a different energy about than the last 2 days.  I've felt a bit better on the AF front, and almost energized.  I don't know if the adrenaline has started to brew or what, but I took a 3 hour practice test today and get this, scored WAY ABOVE passing!  There is hope!  I also re-wrote a bunch of my notes today so they would be ingrained in my head, the couple subjects that I struggle with - that was before the test.  I felt better as I wrote down the last answer, and then had some intrepidation as I went to score it.  Star after star after star, and as I tallied, hey, way below the amount of wrong answers that would have failed me! 

Tomorrow, I'll go to boot camp (if it kills me, or Meanie Christinie probably will), take the last practice exam, then head to Phoenix.  Study a little more in the afternoon, and then relax with a glass of wine.  Friday, the fun begins.  Test starts at 1 pm (so send prayers before then for calmness) and goes until 5 pm.  Saturday, there's 2 separate sections 9-noon and 1:30-4:30 pm.  So again, prayers before then would be great.  I plan to workout in the morning, at least a little bit, with flash cards in hand, and run a couple questions just to get me in the right mentality.  Then, here goes nothing.

So when we meet next, I'll probably be drunk.  Just kidding, I won't write while I'm drunk! ;) I anticipate being more relaxed, because at that point, all I can do is wait and I can't change my fate at that point.  (Remind me of this notion when I start blathering on about how I think I failed and what not okay?!) 

Off to do a quick study of my notes that I want to remember to transfer to the scratch paper when I get into the test, then make something for dinner and finish up the laundry.

Have a wonderful evening y'all, and before I forget, thank you so much for all the support you have offered here, in person or just via prayer.  I've needed it and I've felt the love.  So thanks again!  Just don't stop until Sat, I mean January when I get my score!

LOVE!