Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013

Hello devoted readers.  2013 ends tonight and 2014 begins tomorrow.  I'm making plenty of resolutions and I'm ending 2013 with a bit of relief.  So here's a list of our best moments:

*Hitting the 4 year mark (of marriage)
*Quitting my job and selling basically all of our possessions
*Moving to Chicago
*Taking an epic road trip
*Seeing every single state license plate this year!
*Making our own sauerkraut
*Visiting a dive bar for the first time
*Buying a Chaise Lounge-YES!!!
*Being Featured in the Ensign
*Successfully living in less than 300 sq. ft. of space without permanently harming each other

And that's a wrap...Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chicago Tips and Tricks

I thought I'd share some things I've learned living in Chicago:

1.  DO NOT drive on 290 if you'd like to get anywhere within any reasonable amount of time.  It's easier and maybe safer to drive through more dangerous parts of Chicago.

2.  Shirts are optional at art school--for everyone.

3.  Thunderstorms here are FANTASTIC!

4.  Margie's Candies is some of the best ice cream I've ever had.

5. Some middle school students are actually funny.

I think I'm starting to get used to this place.  I still miss the mountains and not getting lost all the time.  However, I've always found my way back, which is good.  It's strange living in this huge place where there's so many people and feeling so disconnected, but being so crowded.  People watching here is golden.  There are so many fascinating people on our adventures.

Also, seeing a Georgia O'Keefe painting in real life is artist heaven.  They have this sweet show up right now at The Art Institute that deals with impressionism and fashion so I also got to see Manet and Monet and Degas.  AHHHHHHHHH!!!  I totally played it cool while we were there, and you probably shouldn't tell Noah this, but going to see art for free was like the best date ever.  It's like we're members of the museum, but I pay so much more than anyone else to go there.

I think I've made a little bit of room in my heart for Chicago.

Greetings from the Big City and Ohio

An update!  An update!  To peak your interest here's a picture of the sweet desk Noah made for our apartment:

Why yes it does have wheels and yes, there is a sewing machine on the other side.  LOVE!
 Somewhere in August we took a trip to Ohio for Rachael's baby shower.  Woot!  Here are a few gems for that escapade.
Ever the tortured sister.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chicago B-Day

Today is this guy's birthday:

Husband, thanks for bringing me to live in your old stomping grounds, introducing me to so many new things, kissing me often, and always, always keeping me on my toes.

He is the sexiest man alive.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Let's get personal.

Deep breath.  My palms are a bit sweaty and my heart is racing because I'm a little scared to share this with the internet.

So there's been this skeleton in my closet and while my real closet doesn't have a lot of room, my emotional/spiritual one is lined with them.  They're piling up and it's time that I've let someone know they're there so they can come and investigate and maybe help me clear them out.

I'm here to talk about infertility.  There's your cue to leave if you're uncomfortable with the subject and it's a bit too raw for you.

For the last 3 years I have struggled and by struggle I mean my chest has been ripped open, my faith questioned and my spirit broken.  I have taken countless pregnancy tests, cried A LOT, and grown a beard.  Sometimes I feel like I belong in one of those freak show circuses.  Line up to see the bearded lady everyone!  I bet she had some real illness like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and I kind of feel bad for her.  I've been there except I bought an electric razor at Wal-Mart for $9 and I tried to hide it from the general public because I can't afford laser surgery and I'm embarrassed.

Last night was one of those really bad nights I was lamenting my abnormal facial hair.  If you can't tell that I'm a Mormon or LDS, I'll tell you, I am.  We have this thing in our culture where we teach young women how glorious it is to be a mother.  We have countless Sunday School lessons about how wonderful we are as woman (and we are) and we have Young Women lessons about becoming a mother one day (which is wonderful).  We have been taught to want and love and crave being a mother.  So I do.

I want to be a mother so badly my heart is breaking.

I want to be just like everyone else who is having children.  I want to be so ill I'm throwing up and I'm miserable if it means that I am cool enough to get the chance to grow a human being, but I'm not.  I'm also not angry that you're having them.  I think it's amazing and I'd love to come chat with you at your baby shower.

Now, some of you are thinking, "Well Becky, there are drugs for that you know.  My friend so and so got pregnant right away on Clomid."  Sorry, I didn't.  "Well Becky, there's in vitro and there's the possibility you could lose some weight and it would fix a lot."

Thanks for the advice.

Excuses aside, you honestly don't really know what it's like to be me and you never get to (lucky for you).  So if I want your advice on fertility I'll let you know, but for now I'm going to tell you how it feels to be LDS and to be infertile from my point of view.

For the longest time and even now I have this fear that because I'm not getting pregnant that I don't have enough faith and that I've somehow sinned in some way that God won't follow through on His promises to me.  I know that's a lie, but I still believe it sometimes.  I'm afraid that God has forgotten me and that He doesn't really want to give me a baby and that I'd probably make a miserable parent anyway.

I've been taught that it's my purpose in life to be a mother and to bear children, but I physically can't.  My reproductive organs disagree with the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth no matter how much I will them to start working.  I thought to myself, "Why am I so faithless?  Why does God not care and see that I'm suffering here?  Where is my Balm of Gilead?"  It got so bad that I started to question everything.  "Does He really exist or is this some joke?  Or maybe it's something we've all made up to make ourselves feel better."  It's not.  He's really there, but I'm just not pregnant and it doesn't mean that I'm not faithful enough.  It doesn't mean I'm a lazy slob and that I don't know how to have sex.  I got the same talk you did.

It's my gene pool folks and God can perform miracles, but it doesn't mean I have to sacrifice my self image, my faith and everything else for me to finally have a baby.  In fact, it's probably best that I don't sacrifice any of those things.

So I'm going to keep enduring for a season and say, I guess I don't really have an answer for anyone about infertility.  I guess I'm just here to say I'm not a success story (yet) and it sucks to suffer this way, but I have hope that it'll end and one day I'll get to snuggle my own baby in my arms whether it comes from my own body or someone else's.  In the meantime, do you mind if I hold your baby?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The House--er Studio Apartment

So here's a fun story.  Noah and I found this sweet deal on Craigslist for a bed and since we didn't have a larger vehicle we fit it in the car!

Please note that the mattress had to hang out the window or it wouldn't fit.
 What follows are pictures of the apartment and various activities.  It's a big adjustment, but it gets better everyday we're here.

I made this guy for the bathroom.

Sauron toast for Rachel when she came to visit.

Right when you walk in.

Noah made this handy spice rack out of a wine box we found at his parents.

Brandon came to visit!

Our "bedroom."

We have beautiful light.

Noah's grandfather's shelf at the foot of the bed.
The room divider that we both love.

View from our "office."

The closet filled with all my classroom supplies.  It's a work in progress.
 By the way, you have to walk through the closet to get to the bathroom.

A peek into the bathroom (not kitchen).

Noah had to stand on the toilet to get this view.

The "kitchen."

Obvious what this is?

Our "counterspace."
And the pillow I covered in 2 seconds!

So there you have it.  This is what city living is all about--rearrange the furniture every 2 weeks.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

10 things I've Learned Moving to Chicago

Woot!  I'm back, second day in a row.  Yesterday you got a Reader's Digest version of our trip and today I want to share with you 10 things I've learned.

1. After playing the license plate game we've discovered that New Hampshire is the most reclusive of all the states because we saw 47 out of 50.  Now you're thinking, "Becky, that's three states."  Well folks, you can't blame us for not finding Alaska and Hawaii considering they're not actually attached to the United States.

2.  Pigeons are loud.  Also really annoying annnd slightly scary.

3.  The brown line Damen stop on the L is not anywhere near the blue line Damen stop.

4.  230 square feet is small for two people, but possible to live in.

5.  Fruit flies are super dumb and NEVER DIE!

6.  Driving in the city isn't as bad as parking in the city.

7.  Six inches of water and sand constitutes a "beach." :)

8.  When doctors and lawyers move, artists can benefit.  ($200 so far spent on furniture at a brand new value of about $700!)

9.  Sequesters suck for education and employment.

10.  If you have a place to go in Chicago--there's a line waiting for you when you get there.

Pictures to come soon of the apartment (and by soon I mean August because that's when we'll get all of our final bits of furniture)!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Epic Road Trip 2013

Oh hi!

I know, I've been absent again and you've missed me terribly (or not).

Well, no matter how you feel about my absence from the blogging community I'll give you a little rundown of our little (or extremely long) road trip, but I'm going to give it to you in pictures because: 1. I think it's more interesting; 2. I look pretty sexy in some of them; and 3. I have your attention for the moment.

Did you know that there are A LOT of different kinds of turtles and they ARE ALL OVER MISSOURI.  I didn't kill any with the car, but that doesn't mean that we didn't come close.  Who knew?

What the heck is a Prickly Pear Cactus doing in the middle of the Ozarks?  It was there to remind us of home?

Inspiration Point...very inspiring.

"What's that on her head?"  That would be the bug net that goes over my face to protect me from the million bugs that wanted to eat my face.

Sunrise outside the tree house cabin.

Noah in Dismals Canyon aka the Rainforest in the middle of Alabama where deadly lone star ticks come from and bite you.  Yes, I believe I picked up a tick here and it was traumatic.

Gender reveal for Katie and Brandon!  It's a boy!

This describes our relationship well.
You can be jealous now.

Oh my gosh he's handsome.  I win.
Oh it's us, please ignore the fact that I'm not wearing sufficient clothing.

Dead fish.  Noah took the teeth.  They weren't gross, mostly just really cool.


Naples + Best Friend + Manatee = WOOT!

Our cute little campsite at Mammoth Cave National Park.
The lady that took this in Kentucky took it and looked at it and said, "Oh that's so cute, you guys look great!"  Does anyone else see the irony?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Utah,

I've been avoiding this for some time now.  I was in denial that I'd leave.  I came here for school and I didn't think I'd stay, but I did.

I fell in love Utah, with many, many beautiful people.  If I were to begin listing them you'd get really bored, but we both know their names.  

We've had good times and bad times.  I developed road rage because of your drivers, been sunburned on your mountain peaks, despised your endless trains, and shed countless tears.  Still, I've looked out on the water pocket fold as the sun rose, slept out under the stars in the Narrows, drunk from clear mountain streams, and laughed until my belly ached.

Now here we are on the road driving towards a new beginning.  I'll miss you and your funny pronunciations and your quirky LDS culture.  I feel like I've left a huge chunk of my heart there with my friends, colleagues and my students.

I think it's safe to say I've fallen in love, again, with you.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why hello...

Hello there blog reading community.  I bet you cried yourself to sleep at night missed me.  Well I'm back!

And since we know how fond of lists I am I'll list the furniture we still own:
1 couch
1 mattress
3 camp chairs
a folding table
and a recently acquired ottoman

We've been packing like crazy.  Noah's quota is a box a day.  We sold off all of Noah's glass inventory tonight and are having a yard sale this weekend.  Whew, we have 13 days until our mover (Noah's dad) arrives to drive most of our worldly possessions to Chicago.  Here a few pictures of what we've done.

I should preface this by saying during Spring Break we took a trip to visit Shelley and Alan.  It was WONDERFUL!  Why did I ever say it wasn't a good idea.

Noah with the Whippet that he got to drive in Arizona.
The cake we made for Easter dinner.

We went with Shelley to the Desert Botanical Gardens where we fell in love with cacti.

Some of them were in bloom!

My personal favorite was the Saquaro.  They're like trees in Arizona!

I also loved these little Bishop's Cap Cactuses. 

After getting home we celebrated a birthday with Jessica.  We are REALLY going to miss them.

After I packed away our down comforter fickle Utah weather turned cold again and we resorted to using our sleeping bags.

What we sold at the yard sale.

Arizona inspired me to begin painting again.

What we had about a month ago to take.  This pile has grown a little, but not too much.  It still is in this one corner!