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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mistaken identity, Part 2

I'm sure you will all be thrilled to hear that there is an update regarding my mistaken identity issue with gmail. The twists and turns in this plot just never seem to end, do they?

I received an e-mail today with a subject line of "Fw: adoption form." My first instinct was to panic that someone had somehow filled out an adoption form on our behalf... and as a side note, would that be the most presumptuous thing ever, or what? Anyway, I was quickly corrected when I opened the e-mail and noticed that it was addressed to (surprise!) amanda.joiner@gmail.com.

Because I'm nosy (and because hey, it came to my e-mail!), I decided to read the exchange. I was (pathetically) excited that I was going to learn more about my namesake, and as I read on, I realized that she had filled out an adoption form request for a Greyhound (dog). Not only that, but in the application, she had gone into detail about her age, living situation, job, etc.

I started to feel like a stalker (crazy, right?), so I scrolled to the top in order to respond to the person to tell them they had the wrong Amanda Joiner. However, upon doing so, I learned that this e-mail was actually intended for someone named Amanda Joner. Yes. I'm serious.

Apparently her e-mail address is amanda.joner@gmail.com, but the person responding to her mistyped it. So Amanda.Joiner, if you're reading this, I'm sorry that I robbed you of the opportunity to learn so much about Amanda Joner. It was a heartwarming story, really.

The good news is that I quickly responded to the Greyhound adoption organization and informed them of the error. The other good news is that the organization said that there were plenty of wonderful Greyhounds available for Amanda Joner to adopt. I know- what a relief!

What was most interesting, however, is that when I clicked back into the original e-mail, I saw that in the "to" line of the e-mail, next to "amanda.joiner@gmail.com," there was a little gmail link that said "(Yes, this is you.) Learn more."

First of all, gmail, quit acting like such a know-it-all, because no, this is NOT me (times two, for that matter, because I'm not the other Amanda Joiner OR Amanda Joner!). So anyway, when I clicked on it, it took me to a help page entitled "Receiving someone else's mail."

And believe it or not, the first option on this page was: Your address is similar but has more or fewer dots (.) or different capitalization. DING DING DING! We have a winner! Or so I thought, but then I read on:

    Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else's mail is being routed to your account, don't worry: both of these addresses are yours.

    Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they'll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:

    • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com
    • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
    • homerjsimpson@gmail.com = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com

    All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You'll still go to your account.

    If you get mail that seems to be intended for someone else, it's likely that the sender entered the wrong address, just like if you've ever dialed a wrong phone number for someone. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.

    One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you'd like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.


The first thing I have to say about this is, Homer Simpson? Really? That's the most universally recognizable name you could come up with as an example? Clever, but strange.

However, the more important issue is that apparently the other Amanda Joiner's e-mail address is not, in fact, amanda.joiner@gmail.com. My only assumption is that it has an extra number or something in there, and her friends (as well as Glamour and ESPN magazines) are just not excellent readers. Either that or she has a typo problem.

Regardless, the bottom line is that either way, I am stuck receiving her e-mails. And apparently if I'm really lucky, I'm stuck with Amanda Joner's e-mails too. So I guess it's safe to say that as long as you're reading this blog, you all are stuck reading about their lives for the unforeseeable future as well... enjoy! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Music is what feelings sound like." - Author Unknown

It's Saturday morning in the Joiner household, and normally we would be sitting down for Pancake Saturday right about now. However, Brian has recently joined a pick-up football league, so he is busy running around a park in Katy playing football with a bunch of guys he barely knows.

Meanwhile, I just went for a run and now I'm watching Teen Mom 2. So basically, we have reverted back to our pre-marriage routines, which I think you'll agree is kind of nice every now and again. But don't worry- Pancake Saturdays haven't disappeared, they have just been moved to Sunday night dinner. And yes, so far, I have partaken in every one of them, so now you can all get off my back!!

Moving along, as I mentioned, I thought you all would get a kick out of the contrast between the two CD's Allison has made me in the last couple of months. (And as a side note, are we the only two people that still make mix CD's? Because I kind of think we are. And I am also totally ok with that.)

So the first CD was clearly intended not only to cheer me up, but also to make sure I am keeping perspective. The general theme was that while, yes, life may not be going as I had hoped at the moment, God is still at work and is using this season for a purpose. If I am feeling sorry for myself, or just needing some good music to cry to on the way to work, this CD is perfect. Allow me to share the track list with you:

Better than a Hallelujah - Amy Grant
Everything Falls Apart - Steve Fee
Come to Jesus - Chris Rice
Glorious One - Steve Fee
How He Loves Us - David Crowder Band
Before the Morning - Josh Wilson
Your Love is a Symphony - Switchfoot
Inside Out - Hillsong
Follow You - Leeland
Overnight - Amy Grant
Slow Fade - Casting Crowns
Praise You in This Storm - Casting Crowns
Hosanna - Hillsong

This playlist accompanied me on the way to/from many doctor's appointments, as well as the infamous drive home from Austin in December when I helped throw Allison's first shower and cried the whole way home to Richmond... I'd say that was not my proudest moment :) Regardless, I still listen to it on a regular basis and know that it will continue to encourage me even when this struggle is behind us and we've moved on to a new one!

But then came the second CD.

I didn't know what to expect when I first put it on in my car, but was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a throw-back from Des'ree from 1994. As I moved through the playlist, however, I quickly realized that this CD was, well, a little bit angrier. Allow me to share that track list with you, along with my thoughts on why they are so relatable as an added bonus:

You Gotta Be - Des'Ree
This song is probably just as helpful now as it was when it came out in 6th grade. Because if you'll recall, the theme of 6th grade is feeling left out. Or at least it felt that way for me. I never would have thought that the same song would be reminding me to not to be ashamed to cry 17 years later!

Best of You - Foo Fighters
The anger begins! I think the main message here is not to let fertility issues get the best of me. Oops, too late!

Stronger - Britney Spears
Um, this one should be obvious. Just as Britney helped power my work-outs on the elliptical in college, she is inspiring me today to be stronger than yesterday.

You Don't Know How it Feels - Tom Petty
TRUE STORY. That is all I have to say. And although I am thankful for those of you that do know how it feels, I'm even more thankful that most of you don't!

Bitter - Nine Days
You probably know Nine Days for their hit, "Story of a Girl." We saw them in concert in high school and heard this other jam for the first time. You can probably guess what the song is about, and although it is really more relevant to a bad break-up, I can relate!

Even God Must Get the Blues - Jo Dee Messina
I think she threw this one in there just to keep the CD from being overly edgy. But it is indeed an excellent reminder that God does, in fact, feel our pain.

What Do You Want From Me? - Adam Lambert
This is for sure my favorite one to turn up and unleash my rage to! Although in thinking of how it relates to my life, it does make me laugh to imagine singing this to God when I'm at one of my low points. If Job was alive today, I think he would have really appreciated this one.

I'll Be Ok - Amanda Marshall
You should recognize this one from My Best Friend's Wedding. Thank you, singer with my same name, for making a song that makes me feel like Julia Roberts and I have something in common.

Keep Breathing - Ingrid Michaelson
This one is short, simple, and to the point. Sometimes, when life feels like more than I can handle, all I can do is keep breathing.

You Learn - Alanis Morrisette
Yes, I am serious. She really did put Alanis on there. And considering how full of anger Alanis's first CD was, I am kind of surprised no other songs made an appearance on there! I think my favorite part of the song is the last chorus: "You grieve, you learn; you choke, you learn; you laugh, you learn; you choose, you learn; you pray, you learn; you ask, you learn; you live, you learn." Thanks, Alanis.

If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow
I will be honest, I'm really not sure about how to interpret this one. But it's certainly a good "mad at the world" song?

He Ain't the Leaving Kind - Rascal Flatts
Ditto to the Jo Dee Messina song!

I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
Much like the Adam Lambert song, it made me laugh to think about how I can best relate to this one. I like to imagine that I am singing this one to my barren uterus. Uterus, you better back off, because in a world that keeps on pushing me around, I'll stand my ground.

So there you have it. I think you all will be able to relate to the fact that sometimes yelling singing along to songs like these is just as therapeutic as the more positive, upbeat ones. And although I want to be sure not to indulge myself by unleashing my inner rage on a regular basis, it's actually a little refreshing to have my frustration validated every once in a while rather than trying to convince myself I shouldn't feel that way :)

Oh, and as a side note, I think it's amusing that the majority of these songs are from the 90's. Apparently there was a lot to be mad about back then?

Anyway, thanks, sis, for both of my fertility struggle survival CD's. And as for the rest of you, if you have any suggestions of songs I might appreciate (in either category), please share!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It sure is fancy how you love me*

First of all, Allison, no, this is not the post about the cd's you made me, so don't get too excited. I PROMISE to do it this weekend, however- you can hold me to that!

I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my very favorite husband, because (a) I haven't blogged about him in a while and (b) I don't think I often give him the credit he deserves, so hopefully this will make up for both of those.

In case you were wondering why Brian is awesome, then you should take note of the following:

1. Ever since he has been staying at home (as opposed to going into an office), he makes dinner for us every week. I get home around 5:50 pm from work every day, and typically he has dinner on the table and ready by 5:55 pm. The upside to this is obvious, but the downside is that I think I have forgotten how to prepare anything in the kitchen that isn't a sandwich or scrambled eggs.

2. He does the laundry!!!! Yes, this requires 4 exclamation points. I have mentioned before that when Brian was a bachelor, he did laundry approximately once every 3 months. He now does the laundry on a weekly basis- for both of us. Yes, I get it started in the morning before I leave, and generally he requires one or two (or five) reminders, but 95% of the time, it's finished, folded, and put away by the time I get home from work.

Keeping #1 and #2 in mind, I am legitimately torn between whether or not I want him to actually find another job... sure, financial stability would be nice, but would it be nicer than reaping the benefits of having a dinner/laundry fairy? Tough call.

3. He has become a sermonizing machine. Brian has had the privilege of preaching a few times at church over the past few months, and I have really been enjoying it. I am not ashamed to admit that no small part of that enjoyment comes from the fact that I often receive shout-outs in his sermons. And as a bonus, often times those shout-outs consist of him telling a story about something that happened to us that resulted in him realizing that I was right and he was wrong. Be still, my heart! I know, I'm terrible.

My favorite so far was "The Second Coming" on December 26, so be sure to give it a listen here.

4. He has continued to be a major source of encouragement in what continues to be a very difficult struggle. Whether he is listening to me obsess over my temperature chart ("Do you think it's up .03 degrees because I woke up 30 minutes later? Or maybe because the heat is on?"), letting me cry on his shoulder (even if it's awkwardly in the corner of a room full of people after a church service), or using Baby Dinosaur to make me laugh (even if it's just telling me about what BD did during recess that day), he continually makes my happiness a top priority.

But more than that, he continues to keep me in check by reminding me that (a) we are not in a race or competition with every other couple we know, (b) when we do have a baby, it will be more than worth the wait, and (c) no matter how I feel, God has not and will not forget about us. I know it can't be easy to support an emotionally imbalanced wreck of a wife when he, too, is going through the same ordeal. And yet he never complains, never rolls his eyes at my constant declarations that life is unfair, and thankfully, never tells me to "just relax and be patient."

So anyway, I just wanted to make sure and remind the world today of how great Brian is. And because I know a lot of you also have great husbands, here is a friendly reminder to tell them today just how great they are, too.

*The title of this post comes from "our song" (also the first song we danced to at our wedding)- "Nothing Fancy" by Dave Barnes.

ETA: I should also mention that after I posted this, I had Brian read it. When he was finished, I asked him to please get me some dessert. When he laughed at the irony of it, I responded by saying, "Hey, you want to live up to the blog post, don't you?" I know- I'm such a sweet wife :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Remember when I said I was going to make fewer awkward comments about being barren? I lied.

First and foremost, I just wanted to let you know that I am delaying our Lost episode watching marathon in order to write this post. So be thankful. But don't be fooled- it's not because I have anything exciting or urgent to discuss. I just know that a few days have passed since my last post and I thrive too much on winning the approval of others than to risk going a day longer without writing one and potentially getting a "long time, no blog" e-mail from my always vigilant father :)

Moving along, I realized that I forgot to mention something about our trip to NYC. On our tour of NBC studios, we happened to be with a big group of high schoolers. High school seniors, to be exact. Which meant that they spent the entire tour showing off and flirting with our tour guides, but that's not the important part.

The important part is that when the theme song of Friends came on during our tour, they did not clap at the appropriate part (you know- "So no one told you life was gonna be this way- clap clap clap clap). And even worse, they knew none of the words to the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Not a single one. In fact, I don't think they even recognized that either song happened to be theme songs to (at one time) very popular tv shows.

So what I want to know is... are we really that old already that the shows we grew up with are completely unknown to today's teenagers? How and when did this happen? Don't get me wrong- I don't feel sad for me for being outdated... I really feel sorry for them, because if you ask me, a world without Friends and Fresh Prince is not a world worth living in. It was just an unexpected reminder (much like the adult swim moment) that I am, in fact, an adult now, and becoming less and less relevant to today's youth. As evidenced by the fact that I just used the phrase "today's youth."

And anyway, on a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to point out one of my new least favorite hobbies: going to Babies R Us. I obviously try not to make a habit out of this, but because everyone I know of child-bearing age currently seems to be pregnant, making trips there is somewhat inevitable.

(And in order to avoid any overly apologetic responses from the pregnant people in my life (yes, that means you, Allison), I want to clarify up front that I really don't mind going :)

Anyway, the hard part really starts in the parking lot, because inevitably there are strollers. And car seats. And babies. And pregnant women. And being that I am trying to make every effort not to give into the constant temptation of being insanely jealous, this alone is very difficult. So in order to make it easier, I try to focus on the task at hand by getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible... and pretending that everyone's babies are ugly. Is that rude? Oops.

Then there is the fact that I have NO idea what half the things on the registries mean. Sure, I get a good giggle out of seeing that someone intentionally registered for a rectal thermometer, but the fact that I am completely clueless about what everything else in the store is used for sometimes seems like just another reminder that I'm not a part of "the club." Thankfully, I can still appreciate the cuteness of baby shoes and stuffed animals... especially when owls are involved (go Chi O).

And after picking the gift that seems the most practical, I proceed to check-out, only for the check-out girl to ask me if I want to join their rewards program. Why, yes, I'd love to! Because perhaps the only thing that would make me feel more pathetic is if I could come here on a regular basis and be rewarded for all of the stuff I buy for other people's babies! And maybe as a bonus, if I buy enough stuff, you can send me some free bottles or diapers or something?

Thankfully for the salesperson, I did not actually respond that way, but instead stifled a laugh and went on my merry way.

All this to say, I really have actually had a pretty good week. So please don't think I have spiraled into some bitter state of rage. It's just that the most blog-worthy content lately seems to stem from our quest for parenthood.

And on that note, remember how I mentioned that encouraging cd that Allison made me a couple of months ago? Well last week she made me a follow-up cd that actually seems more useful for sympathizing with my frustration than encouraging me to be more positive (and don't get me wrong, both are very useful and appropriate at different times), and I think the next blog post will expound upon why I think she chose each of the songs. So stay tuned (pun intended)!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The trip of almosts

As promised, I give you the recap of our trip to NYC with the Olivers:

As indicated in the title, it was, indeed, a trip that involved a lot of “almosts.” For starters, the trip almost didn’t happen at all. The first concern that we might have to cancel popped up when, as you recently read about, I decided to start the week off by vomiting profusely and then coming down with a fever. Fortunately, I recovered quickly and was, for the most part, healthy by the time our scheduled Wednesday departure rolled around.

The second concern came Southwest called us the night before our trip to notify that our flight had been cancelled. Um. Wouldn’t you think that your flight being cancelled (not delayed, not rescheduled, but legitimately cancelled) would necessitate something a little more helpful than an automated phone call? Like, oh, I don’t know, an actual customer service representative calling and offering to reschedule your fight? Just a tip for the future, SWA.

Anyway, apparently New York has never experienced snow or ice before so they (prematurely, in my opinion) decided to cancel our flight for the next day under the assumption that we wouldn’t be able to land in NYC as scheduled. Fortunately we were able to reschedule for a flight later that afternoon. And I really do mean it when I say “fortunately” because it meant that we didn’t have to wake up at 4 am. Oh, silver lining, how I love to hate you… but I digress.

So we made it safely to NYC on Wednesday, realized quickly upon our arrival that we didn’t even really know what the word “cold” meant before then, and checked into our hotel in time for a late dinner with the Olivers. I am not typically a fan of anything that involves the word “late,” but thankfully, Vomit Fest 2011 did a good job of suppressing my appetite for a few days, so I was able to handle the wait. How Allison (and baby Davis) survived, I’ll never know, because typically when I call her on my way home from work at 5:32 pm, she has already eaten dinner and is ready for bed. :)

I’m dragging this out, aren’t I? So on Thursday morning, we hit some of the highlights—Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero (which is obviously very meaningful, but, let’s be honest, looks like a generic construction site), and Grand Central Station. Oh, and we also saw a rat in the subway, which is always important to note.

We enjoyed a late lunch at Serendipity, but more importantly, we all 4 shared a frozen hot chocolate, as made famous in Serendipity, which, as you might recall, was the movie Brian and I watched together on our first date! Of course we then had to go to Bloomingdale’s so we could reenact the opening scene from the movie in which they argued over a pair of gloves. It was magical.

That evening, we went out for dinner before heading to the Majestic Theater to watch Phantom of the Opera. To continue with the “almost” theme, Brian and I almost made it through the whole show… until I insisted that we had to leave at intermission because my antibiotic had struck again and I almost threw up on the lady sitting next to me. Yes, seriously. I really did enjoy the first half of the show, but I have to say it was made somewhat difficult by the fact that I spent the better part of it plotting my exit strategy should I actually start throwing up. Don’t worry—Brian came to the rescue by kindly offering for me to throw up in his hat if I needed to. He’s a keeper, isn’t he?

The next day was probably my favorite, as we got to go to the “top of the Rock” (where we were able to display our dancing skills 67 stories above ground), meet an old friend for lunch, tour NBC studios, and take a quick stroll through Central Park. For the final “almost” of the trip, we almost got to be on the Today Show! Ok, we actually technically did end up being on the show, but only in the background. Wade was going to get to ask a question about cooking (which later ended up being a question about romance?) to Curtis Stone during his interview with Hoda, but they ran out of time. Fortunately, we still got free frozen yogurt out of it AND had somewhere warm to stay for an hour.

We ended the trip with a bang by eating take-out in the hotel for dinner because Allison wasn’t feeling so great. I wasn’t complaining, however, because I figured if things went awry again with my digestive system, I would prefer to be fighting the urge to vomit in my hotel room rather than doing it at a Broadway show.

It was a quick trip, but as is always the case when we travel with the Olivers, we really did have a great time and were thankful for the brief escape from reality. However, we were equally thankful to come home to 60 degree temperatures and two pups that greeted us as though we had been gone for months. Noah and Buster, you'll be glad to know that we have no trips planned for the foreseeable future. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Read this if you want to feel better about your own life :)

Yes, friends, it's true. I didn't think it was possible, but I did, in fact, reach a new low last weekend.

Last Saturday morning, after spending the night at the Children's Museum with 150+ 4th grade girls (sounds like a low all on its own, right?:), I was thrilled and overjoyed to learn that I had a bladder infection. I called my fertility specialist's nurse (because sadly, I consider him to be my primary doctor at the moment) and she agreed to call in a prescription for me.

Because I was feeling sorry for myself and we had nothing better to do that day, Brian and I spent the entire day lounging on the couch and watching Lost, ending the day with a trip to DQ for a blizzard (making progress on that resolution already!). I also made sure that, in addition to taking my antibiotic, I was drinking plenty of water. And by plenty of water, I mean that I consumed approximately 40 glasses of water that day. To say I was hydrated would be an understatement, but unfortunately, that didn't last for long.

The next morning at church, my stomach was feeling a little unsettled, but I figured it was just because the Metformin (which I have blogged about before) usually makes me feel that way if I eat a meal that's really high in fat and/or sugar- and in case you weren't aware, blizzards aren't exactly sugar-free.

After church, we went out to get hamburgers with everyone else, and I was hoping that eating a regular sugar-free meal would help even out my system a little and make me feel better. I was sadly very, very mistaken.

I spent the rest of the day on the couch complaining of a stomach ache, until around 5 pm when I was so miserable that I couldn't even stomach the idea of eating a saltine cracker. Approximately 30 minutes later, the vomiting began.

Let me first clarify that since I have been old enough to remember, I only recall throwing up 3 times in my life, the most recent time being 10 years ago when I got my wisdom teeth taken out. So being that I am not exactly the type of person that is prone to stomach sickness, it is safe to say that I was most definitely not prepared for what happened next.

For the next 4 hours, I rotated between the bath tub, the couch, my bed, and hanging my head over our toilet. And I apologize for giving TMI, but I saw that hamburger that I ate for lunch far more times than I cared to. Oh, and the french fries, too. And because I don't want to provoke you to have a similar experience, I won't share the details about what came out of my nose in the meantime. You're welcome.

My loyal husband and diligent nurse made a run to the store for Gatorade and apple sauce, but being that I couldn't even keep water down, they unfortunately didn't help much. I finally stopped throwing up around 10:30 pm and managed to "sleep" through the night with a trash can at the side of the bed just to be on the safe side.

I woke up the next morning with a fever, so Brian took me to the doctor, who confirmed my fever as well as my suspicions that it was probably just a bad reaction to the antibiotic. She prescribed me a new antibiotic as well as some medicine for the nausea and sent me home to sleep away the day.

Thankfully, I felt a million times better the next morning and was able to make it in to one day of work before we left for our trip to NYC the next day (which will be a post for another day!). I continued to feel progressively better until I made the mistake of taking another dose of the Metformin on Thursday night, which resulted in me almost throwing up on a stranger during Phantom of the Opera and in Brian having to escort me back to the hotel during intermission. Lesson learned: Metformin + antibiotics = not a good combination.

Anyway, all this to say, my week did not start off on a particularly high note. But it is safe to say that I reached my new low point on Sunday night when I was hanging my head over the toilet and all of a sudden became acutely aware that this really and truly was happening to me. (a) I had a bladder infection (terrible enough on its own) which (b) caused me to have to be on and antibiotic that was making me vomit profusely and (c) oh yeah, I'm not pregnant, and to say that that a & b were not going to help me make any progress in that department would be putting it lightly.

I knew my situation really was that crappy when I told Allison the next day that I just feel really incredibly sorry for myself and think that my life is pretty pathetic, and her response was, "Yeah, I was actually thinking the same thing about your life just yesterday." At least she was honest!

All this to say, I survived, and will thankfully be finished with the antibiotic today. I am feeling much better, and most importantly, was still able to enjoy our trip to NYC. And the good news is that the year can really only go up from here... right? If not, then you will find me safely barricaded in my bedroom until 2012.

I promise to post about NYC in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, be sure to go check out Allison's post showcasing some of the Joiners' most impressive (embarrassing?) dance moves. Once again, you're welcome.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mistaken identity

So in case you weren't aware, gmail allows people to use a period in their e-mail addresses, ie: firstname.lastname@gmail.com. This is great and all because I'm sure it allows more e-mail address possibilities for people with generic names.

Apparently, however, there is one minor glitch, as it seems that not all outgoing e-mail systems (or users) recognize that little dot. Which is why another Amanda Joiner and I have unintentionally become linked to one another.

You see, apparently that Amanda Joiner had the same genius idea for an e-mail address as I did- using her first and last name. Can you believe it? Neither can I. I'm assuming that I beat her to the punch by taking amandajoiner@gmail.com (either that or she just really likes punctuation), because hers is amanda.joiner@gmail.com.

From what I gather, she hasn't had this e-mail address for long, because I didn't start receiving any of her e-mail until a few months ago. But in those months I have surprisingly learned a lot about my namesake:

1. She is very versatile. She subscribes to Glamour magazine AND the ESPN magazine. When I first received the ESPN e-mail, I assumed Brian had signed me up as either a joke or some type of punishment, but quickly discovered when I clicked on the unsubscribe button that amanda.joiner was actually the registered e-mail address.

Unfortunately, the unsubscribe request did me no good, and when I called (yes, called) ESPN to try to prevent them from sending me any more e-mails, they told me they couldn't unsubscribe me without the actual member's request. How's that for confusing? Fortunately, I eventually clicked the button on enough e-mails that they finally either took the hint or figured out a solution.

2. I also recently discovered that she (a) went to Auburn, (b) is from Alabama, and (c) lives in Denver. I figured out the first one because I was forwarded an e-mail from her pal, Frank, about a pre-game get-together in Phoenix for all AU fans for the BCS national championship game.

I figured out the other two because I was so bold as to (politely) e-mail Frank and inform him that regretfully, he had the wrong Amanda Joiner (hey, if she is that big of a sports fan, I didn't want to rob her of this opportunity!). I also told him that although I am an Aggie myself, I also like Auburn and wished his team the best of luck. (As a side note, I think I inherited my tendency to over-share with strangers from my mom :)

Anyway, he wrote back promptly and apologized, saying that he was sure I probably got a lot of her e-mail by mistake. (You have no idea, Frank.) He then informed me that there was a group of them from Alabama that now lives in Denver and they were making a trip to Arizona for the game. And then he told me that actually he very recently moved to Virginia Beach. I wonder if Frank inherited his tendency to over-share with strangers from his mom, too?

3. I am also pretty sure she does something artistic- possibly some type of design- because I also received an e-mail from someone recently saying that their mutual friend, Mike, had recommended her expertise on a design project. I also responded to that person to tell her she had the wrong Amanda Joiner, but apparently she isn't as friendly as Frank because I didn't even get so much as a "thank you" in response.

Thankfully, as an identical twin, I grew very accustomed to being confused with another person early on in life, so this is not my first experience with trying to clarify my identity. Although I will say it was much easier to correct people for that than this.

I guess I just have to hope that Joiner is her maiden name and that soon she will get married, change her e-mail address, and I will no longer have this problem. Who knows, maybe she'll even move to Virginia Beach with Frank and marry him?

Feel free to share if you have had a similar mix-up... it's safe to say that at least it provides entertainment if nothing else!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New year, new me

Ha, ok so I am joking by using that title... I think it's totally cheesy, but also totally amusing. Realistically, yes, it is a new year, but unfortunately, still the same old me.

I think I expected that the new year would make me somehow feel much more hopeful about our situation. For some reason I had it in my head that when the clock struck midnight on December 31st, I would magically be pregnant, or at least a billion times closer to being pregnant than I was at 11:59 pm.

Well believe it or not, that didn't happen. Crazy, I know.

However, there have been some advancements on the fertility front for those of you who are curious. In our first "month off," I ovulated all by myself without the help of any medicine. I am patiently waiting for my award, or at the very least a little gold star on my chart, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting a while on that one.

This is great and wonderful news because it means that I don't have to spend several hundred dollars and face that hateful ultrasound screen on a regular basis. This is not so great and wonderful news because it means my cycles are not regular or predictable. And in case you weren't aware, I am really not a fan of anything in life that is not regular or predictable.

Regardless, we are marching forward in our quest for baby Joiner. And once again, we can't thank you enough for your prayers and support as we press onward. But we'll still try... so thank you.

In the meantime, I am doing my best to try to ignore the fact that EVERYONE ON THE PLANET is pregnant. My personal favorites? The co-anchor on my favorite local morning news channel AND Sun from Lost. Yes, somehow the Asian girl who is stranded on an island with her supposedly infertile husband and no medical care is pregnant. I mean, seriously?

And for the sake of total honesty, I will admit that I m also trying really hard not to give into the very constant thoughts of jealousy that have been creeping into my brain. I have really never had to deal with jealousy this closely and this often ever in my life. And I do not like it.

I will also admit that I am struggling with the question of whether or not God has forgotten about us entirely. Let me first clarify that I KNOW in my head that this is not true. Deuteronomy 31:6 is a reminder to: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So I KNOW that He has not left us or forsaken us. But I am just having trouble fully believing it at the moment. Instead, right now I feel left behind and unnoticed. I feel like I'm having one of those bad dreams where I am screaming as loudly as I can but no sound is coming out, and therefore no one is coming to my rescue.

Ok, so I realize that sounds totally whiny and ungrateful, so I apologize. But I know there are other people out there who are going through similar frustrations (perhaps not even related to fertility), so I want to be as honest as possible in hopes of giving them something to relate to.

Anyway, that's all for now. I promise the next post will be more upbeat!