Background template

Monday, March 26, 2012

The view from my cubicle

It's safe to say that Spring has must definitely sprung... at least around here anyway. Rumor has it that the high was dangerously close to 90 degrees yesterday, which sort of makes me want to throw up. Last I checked, we've only made it to March, and if I am calculating temperature variances correctly (who says that?), then it should be somewhere around 120 degrees in August (I just made that up) (But it's still a terrifying thought, isn't it?).

Anyway, let's focus on happier thoughts- flowers! In particular, this pretty arrangement that Brian brought to me at work last week:

While I certainly still credit him for giving me the flowers, in the interest of full disclosure, I should let you know that they were leftover centerpieces from a work luncheon he attended. Still, they are pretty and it was thoughtful of him to bring them to me. So props to him!

And while we're on the topic of things sitting on my desk at work, you all might be slightly disturbed amused to see what else is keeping me company throughout the week:

The somewhat frightening bendy robot woman with the headset and spider hands has been there for a couple of years. The creepy (naked) babies are a recent addition.

My office always receives a lot of king cakes during Mardi Gras season, and as tradition dictates, they always come with a baby. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to eat the piece with the baby in it for either of the two cakes I sampled. However, you all probably won't be surprised to learn that a lot of my co-workers are aware of the fact that I am sub-fertile (and probably know far too much about my ovaries), and as a result, the two babies pictured above were gifted to me in hopes that a real baby would follow.

So if this scene is a sign of things to come, then I should expect the following any day now:

1. Twin babies (very obviously fraternal), one of which has inherited my pasty white skin
2. Blue skin and hair
3. A stalker in the form of a cupcake that wears glasses

So there you have it. Speaking of babies, my hysteroscopy has been scheduled. Sadly, there was no availability this week, so I won't be going in until Wednesday, the 4th. As of right now, the procedure is booked for 11 am. Ugh. Thankfully the nurse said the time is not set in stone and will hopefully be bumped up earlier in the morning. Fingers crossed that this happens, or else I will be going out for a DQ blizzard at 11:59 pm the night before.

By the way, I'm thinking of arranging a live stream of the procedure for my readers and calling it UteTube. With a name like that, it's guaranteed to go viral, don't you think?

Have a great week, and feel free to share what's sitting on your desk at the moment!

PS- Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Wade (the other half of the blogivers)!

Friday, March 23, 2012

In case you didn't already think I was nuts...

If you thought the Famous Footwear receipt was big, then just WAIT until I tell you about the latest amanda-dot-joiner development.

I received an e-mail from my dad on Sunday night with no subject line containing what appeared to be a link to someone’s facebook profile. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on said link and pulled up the profile for none other than an Amanda Joiner living in Denver, Colorado.

Yes, that’s right, my dad wins the stalker-of-the-year award… which I guess makes me a close runner-up. My dad is both (a) very curious and (b) very resourceful—a combination that makes him very effective at finding out incredibly detailed information about complete strangers (or, as was often the case while we were in college, about potential boyfriends and their extended families). Oh well—it’s good to know that I come by my strange behavior naturally, right?

Anyway, I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that receiving that link made me feel a lot like a kid on Christmas morning. And the best part? Her profile is for the most part open to the public.

Among the oodles of information, I noted the following things that we do have in common:
1. We both love Mexican food.
2. We both like dogs (her preference being pugs).
3. We both enjoy writing.
4. She listed “herbs” as one of her interests. And although I’m not necessarily interested in herbs, I have been taking them thanks to Needle Lady, so I’m going to count that as a similarity.

Perhaps more interesting, however, are the things we most definitely do NOT have in common:
1. Her “about me” says: “I don’t like routines.” Just typing that sentence pains me. What’s not to like?!
2. For religious views, she put “Other – Alien.” I, on the other hand, put, “I love Jesus.” So similar… and yet, not at all.
3. She apparently collects skulls. I don’t.
4. She has an affinity for Rob Zombie. I like the Backstreet Boys.

I also noted that I was correct in my assumption (based on her magazine subscriptions) that she has very diverse taste. She definitely has a girly side, but is also very outdoorsy. You also might be saddened to learn that her friend list was private, so I wasn’t able to look for her pal, Frank.

And speaking of being saddened, imagine my disappointment upon finding out that she is not, in fact, married, so it appears that our name-sharing will last for the foreseeable future. She did actually list her e-mail address on her facebook page, and it appears that other than the apparently insignificant period between her first and last name, there are just two numbers separating her e-mail address from mine. So I think it’s also safe to assume our e-mail sharing will last for the foreseeable future as well.

I know what you’re all wondering: Now that I have her e-mail address, will I contact her? And I know many of you are also probably wanting to warn me against doing so at risk of making myself look like a total psycho.

Too late.

It just so happened that I received another e-mail from Famous Footwear for her the day after my dad sent me her profile link. It was a sign! So I did what any other weirdo polite stranger would do, and forwarded it to her along with the original Famous Footwear receipt that I received.

In the e-mail, I told her that through an unusual series of events, I had discovered that I had unintentionally become the recipient of several e-mails that were intended for her. I mentioned that the way I figured this out was actually a pretty funny story that I would be happy to share if she was interested. I then told her I would be sure to forward along any other e-mails that are meant for her.

That was on Monday. You might not be surprised to hear that she hasn’t responded. Perhaps she’s too busy tending to her skull collection? Or perhaps she just thinks I’m nuts? I may never know. But you better believe that if she does respond, I’ll be sharing it with you all, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Way back when-sday

You'll all be relieved to know that the Way Back When-sday torch that Allison started is being carried on! No, it's not by me, but rather by my pal/fellow Junior League member, Katie, so be sure to head over to her blog and check it out!

For my WBW post, I'm going to keep it short and simple (for a change). I just wanted to share two pictures with you that provide proof that Brian and I will one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) have cute babies:

Now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Hill's Country

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So. The appointment. Yeah.

Let’s start at the beginning:

First of all, as I already mentioned, the medical center is far away. And the doctor’s office is not easy to get to. And parking costs $7. So when we arrived for our appointment, I was already in a foul mood/heightened state of anxiety.

Then we got to sit and wait for half an hour. Normally, this would not be a huge deal, but being that our appointment was so late in the day, I knew that the longer we waited, the higher the chance that we would get stuck in terrible traffic on the way home.

Keeping all of this in mind, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that while we were waiting, I texted Allison to inform her of my very earnest desire to jump off of a bridge. Her alternate suggestion was for us to go out to dinner after the appointment and wait out the traffic, which I think you will agree sounded much less dramatic and therefore much less appealing.

Anyway, we finally went in to see Dr. H, and his first question was, “So what can I do for you?” Dr. C asked the same question during our first meeting with him, and I understand why, but really? What response are they expecting other than, “Help us get pregnant?”

Regardless, I rambled off our saga story to him—all 30 months of it. All 9 rounds of medicated cycles. The 2 different specialists we’ve seen. The chemical pregnancy. The Metformin (and yes, I made sure to throw in how much I despised it). My frustrations with Robot Nurse and Nurse Goldfish. The acupuncture. I was actually fairly exhausted just talking about it, but he thankfully didn’t seem concerned or taken aback. He just made notes, smiled, and nodded… which made me feel a little bit like a patient that was just admitted to a psychiatric ward… which really isn’t far off from how I was feeling, so that’s ok :)

Anyway, after taking it all in, he mentioned that his main concern is that I have not been ovulating regularly, and not just because it prevents us from getting pregnant (duh), but more so because of the toll it might have taken on my uterus. Apparently the lack of ovulation has meant that my body has been experiencing a semi-constant state of “unopposed estrogen,” which is not good for my uterus (or, as I joked, for Brian- ha!).

So in order to check out the situation, next week I am supposed to go in for a hysteroscopy, which basically means that they’ll use a tiny video camera to check out the lining of my uterus and make sure there are no polyps or other obstructions. Don’t worry, I’m sure that will be released on Netflix in the near future for your viewing pleasure.

As far as the whole getting pregnant thing goes, after discussing our options, he/we came up with a game plan. It is honestly a lot to take in, and while Brian is already eager and hopeful to get the ball rolling, I am still stuck somewhere in the zone of “this isn’t fair,” “it shouldn’t be this hard,” “I don’t want to spend this money,” and “why won’t God just give us a baby already?”

Regardless, we are pressing forward, and because I have been disappointed more often than not throughout this process, I am going to ask that all of YOU continue hoping on our behalf since I am not as up to the task as I used to be! Anyway, here is our game plan, along with specific prayer requests:

1. Start taking birth control pills today. I know, sounds counterintuitive, right? Apparently it is supposed to balance out my estrogen levels… or something like that.

2. Go in for the hysteroscopy next week. I’ll have to go under anesthesia and take a day off of work, but really my biggest concern is that I can’t eat or drink after midnight the night before, so please pray that the procedure is scheduled for the earliest possible slot in the day :)

3. Follow-up consultation with Dr. H shortly thereafter to discuss the findings. Or, as Erika said, another excuse to get a co-pay out of me. Hooray!

4. Start injections (read: SHOTS) to stimulate my ovaries in hopes that I actually ovulate (wouldn’t that be nice?). Brian will be the lucky one administering these bad boys, so please pray for his patience while he deals with the whiney baby known as his wife.

This prayer request is a biggie: Because I have polycystic ovaries, there is a much higher chance of hyper-stimulation, which basically means that I could produce too many eggs and then we’d have to cancel the cycle altogether, unless we wanted to have our own TV show on TLC (Brian & Amanda Plus Eight doesn’t sound so catchy, AND we are hoping not to end up miserable and divorced). So please pray that this doesn’t happen!

5. Do an IUI. This will hopefully give us a better chance to fertilize those eggs. Please pray that it is well-timed and successful!

6. End up pregnant with a baby or two and never have to go through any of this ever again.

I also mentioned to Erika that the last step in this process would be for us to rob a bank to pay through steps 1-6, but then we’d probably have to go to jail, and how would we enjoy our sweet little newborn baby if we were locked up? So we’ll scratch that step.

So that’s where we are. I am overwhelmed. I am relieved to have a plan in mind and a doctor that seems to know how to be aggressive without being too risky. I am TRYING to be hopeful and to trust that God will bless us with a pregnancy this time. Not next time, and not 10 times from now, but this time.

And if not, well, then there’s always the psychiatric ward, right?

Friday, March 16, 2012

It wouldn't be a proper week of blogging if I didn't talk about infertility, now would it?

I just wanted to let everyone know that we bit the bullet and decided to make an appointment with a (new) fertility specialist for next Monday. We narrowed it down to two options, one of which was the doctor that shares a practice with Dr. C. Yes, we knew that dealing with the terrible nurses again was a possibility, but our plan was to only go in for appointments when he would be there (even if that meant going to multiple locations to see him). 

However, that door was quickly slammed shut when I called and was informed that his next available appointment was APRIL 20TH. As in, 1.5 months from when I called. In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, patience is not one of my strongpoints. And now that we’ve decided to go back to a specialist, I certainly do not want to waste another month and a half waiting for one.

So we took this as a sign that the other doctor might be a better option. We have actually been referred to this one (we’ll call him Dr. H) by several people, and Needle Lady also happens to think very highly of him. So the upside is that he has a good reputation. The other upside was that he had an available appointment that was less than 800 years away! The downside is that his office is in the medical center, which is about 3 times as far away as the one I was going to in Sugar Land.

Alas, I have come to terms with the fact that I will just have to get over the distance. Just add that to the (absurdly) long list of things that I’ve had to get over throughout this whole process :) (God, if you're reading, I get it. I promise. Now can I have a baby?) Anyway, ideally, we will get pregnant magically simply by walking into his office on Monday, so maybe the distance really won’t end up being an issue after all? Here’s to hoping!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Way back when-sday

Even though Allison decided to call it quits on Way back when-sday, I'm keeping the tradition going... for this week, anyway :)

For this week's WBW, I'm taking a look back at the Houston Rodeo concerts that we've attended in the past! Those of you that aren't from around these parts might not be aware of this, but the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a pretty big deal (according to their website, it's the world's largest livestock exhibition and the world's richest regular-season rodeo).

We enjoy the actual rodeo events as much as the concerts, but because I am lame and don't like to deal with the crowds and traffic, we usually end up going only when free tickets are offered to us :) Somehow not paying for the actual tickets makes the hassle much more worth it!

Anyway, here are the shows we've seen so far:

2005 - Rascal Flatts

(You'll see a repeat of basically this same picture a few times!)

2006 - Maroon 5

2007 - none... apparently we were too busy planning a wedding and trying to find Brian a job- lame!

2008 - Brad Paisley & Fergie (two separate shows... although a duet with the two of them would probably be fairly entertaining)

2009 - Clay Walker

The Trapps joined us for their first ever HLSR experience that year! It also happened to be my first experience with the petting zoo, which has since become the highlight of the rodeo for me :)

2010 - Darius Rucker (aka: the guy from Hootie & The Blowfish)

Sadly, we didn't take any pictures. I blame the fact that we were in the middle of (semi-secretly) buying a new house and transitioning between churches/Brian's jobs. But I DID blog about it, so feel free to go back and read about it here. Ok that's not actually true... Allison apparently blogged about it for me, so I didn't even write that post myself. I told you I was distracted!

2011 - none... I honestly don't have an excuse for why we didn't go last year. Unless you count infertility, which I use as an excuse for pretty much everything else in life (bad moods, overeating, etc.), so why not?

Next up: 2012 - Train! Brian's dad got a hold of some free tickets, so we're going to see them this weekend. Looking forward to some smelly cows, cute baby pigs, kettle corn, and thousands of strangers singing along to "Hey, Soul Sister"! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes :)

Feel free to join in on the WBW fun!

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to survive a rainy weekend

At the Joiner household, here's how we did it:

Lounged around the house in our PJ's on Saturday until well after lunch time while attempting (unsuccessfully) to finalize vacation plans, all while jamming out to this:

(Brian loves to tease me for my obsession with listening to John Mayer... I'm sorry, but is there any more perfect rainy day music? I don't think so.) 

Don't worry- we didn't lounge alone:

I might or might not have consumed these (with black beans) for lunch:

In an effort to get out of the house, we decided to go to the mall (along with the rest of the Sugar Land population), after which we headed here for dinner:

And ate some of this:

(Spinach dip)

And because my husband is the best, he made us these for dessert:

Which we consumed happily while watching this:

(which was, in hindsight, a poor choice... I used to like this movie but I think the older that I get, the less I enjoy scary movies... and roller coasters)

After church on Sunday, we wrapped up our weekend of healthy eating with lunch here:

(For those that are curious, we shared the "Chik chik")

And the remainder of the day was more or less a repeat of Saturday morning, minus the John Mayer and plus some TV watching.

Hope your weekend was equally unproductive wonderful!

Friday, March 9, 2012

She’s (he's?!) baaaaaaaaack!

Yep, that’s right, amanda-dot-joiner-at-gmail-dot-com has struck again!! Remember her from this post and this one? Well she's back on the scene, and trust me when I say that things just got a little more interesting. (Ok, that’s probably debatable, because I’m guessing a few of you are not so much interested as you are concerned that I keep talking about this.)

To re-cap, here is what we know so far about this mysterious person that (a) shares my name and (b) consistently provides an incomplete e-mail address to people OR deals with a lot of people that can’t read entire e-mail addresses.

1.  She has versatile interests, as evidenced by her e-mail subscriptions to Glamour and ESPN the Magazine.
2.  Thanks to her pal, Frank, we know that she is from Alabama, went to Auburn, and now lives in Denver (which has been further confirmed recently, as you'll read below).
3.  She might do some type of design for a living.

I find this information to be interesting enough as it is (which says a lot about lame my life is, I’m sure), so you can imagine what a pleasant surprise it was when I received not one, but TWO e-mails addressed to her last week. As a result, I have now gleaned the following:

New information:
1.  In addition to Glamour and ESPN the Magazine, she also subscribes to Outside magazine. As a side note, apparently Outside magazine sends out very regular updates.
2.  Thanks to a receipt e-mailed to her me directly from the store, I also know that (STALKER ALERT) she bought a pair of shoes at Famous Footwear* (…in Denver) (…at 1:33 pm) (…on March 1st) (…am I taking this too far?).
3.  They were Nike shoes… size 13.5 MEN’S shoes, to be exact. In fact, I'm so strange dedicated that I looked up what they look like:

4.  Apparently she is conscientious about her spending habits. The shoes cost $59.99, but they were priced incorrectly on the floor at $54.99, so they didn’t charge her the full price. Great catch, AJ!
5.  I also now know the last 4 digits of her credit card, but don't worry, I won't share those with the internet.

Possible conclusions I have reached as a result of these two e-mails:
1.  Amanda.joiner has a boyfriend/significant other. I really hope that she isn’t married to this guy, though, because I had high hopes that she would change her e-mail address once she got married and changed her name.
2.  Amanda.joiner is a guy with a girl’s name (that also reads Glamour?)
3.  Amanda.joiner is a girl with very masculine taste. And ginormous feet.

Please feel free to vote for which scenario you think is most likely by leaving your guess in the comment section. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some magazines from which I need to go unsubscribe.

*Bonus: I am now receiving Famous Footwear coupons via e-mail, whether I want them or not!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Way back when-sday

Those of you that were also born in the 80s will probably agree with me that back in the day, few things in life were cooler than a mix tape.

I have mentioned before that I have actually had the same mix tape in my car since 1999. Yes, I agree that it's a little unusual that my 2004 Jetta came with a tape player. But I would also be willing to bet that a few of you are a little jealous about that.

Regardless, for this week's WBW post, I thought I would share the playlist of that magical tape with you. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of this tape was to help me get over my high school boyfriend, so you will likely notice a theme...

1. "Even Angels Fall" by Jessica Riddle
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Found true love, lost your heart - now you don't know who you are."

2. "Never There" by Cake
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric:  "You tell me that you love me so, you tell me that you care, but when I need you, baby, you're never there"

3. "Believe" by Cher
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "What am I supposed to do? Sit around and wait for you? No, I can't do that, there's no turning back"

4. "Heartbreak Hotel" by Whitney Houston (RIP)
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "I thought that you were someone who would do me right until you played with my emotions and you made me cry"

5. "It's Not Right, but It's Okay" by Whitney Houston (double RIP)
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Close the door behind you- leave your key. I'd rather be alone than unhappy"

6. "If You Had My Love" by Jennifer Lopez
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "If you want to live with all I have to give, I need to feel true love or it's got to end, yeah"

7. "Quit Playing Games with My Heart" by The Backstreet Boys
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Even in my heart I see that you're not being true to me. Deep within my soul, I feel nothing's like it used to be"

8. "Don't Want You Back" by The Backstreet Boys
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Don't want you back 'cause you're no good for me, I know- that's all I can say"

9. "Push" by Matchbox 20 (aka: one of my favorite songs of all time!)
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "And I don't know if I've ever been really loved by a hand that's touched me, well I feel like something's gonna give, and I'm a little bit angry"

(And this is where the country portion of the tape begins, which is, as you'll notice, a little more sad and a little less full of rage. But don't worry, the bitterness is still very apparent.)

10. "She's Gonna Make It" by Garth Brooks
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "And the fact that she's survived so well without him, you know it's driving him insane"

11. "I've Loved Enough to Know" by Deana Carter
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Every night out with the boys, you think I'm so naive. I know exactly where you're going every time you leave"

12. "We Danced Anyway" by Deanna Carter
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Do you remember? We were laughing... we were so in love, we were so in love" 

13. "Love Ain't Like That" by Faith Hill
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "Love ain't that easy to define, you can't build it by design, it takes its own sweet time"

14. "Blue Eyes Blue" by Eric Clapton
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "It was you who put the clouds around me, it was you who made the tears fall down, it was you who broke my heart in pieces"

15. "Can't Hurry Love" by The Dixie Chicks (before they became politically offensive)
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "How many heartaches must I stand before I find the love to let me live again?"

(Um, where did this last one come from?)

16. "Glycerine" by Bush
Favorite bitter high school ex-girlfriend lyric: "I'm never alone, I'm alone all the time"

So there you have it- a brief look into my 16-year-old brain. You're welcome!

Now go join in on the WBW fun:

The Blogivers

Monday, March 5, 2012

The talk

Well, it finally happened. Needle Lady and I had to have "the talk." My first acupuncture appointment was at the beginning of September, so if you do the math, that means I've been going for 6 months now.

I remember very clearly expecting that I would be pregnant within the first month of treatment, and for sure by the second month at the very latest. And to clarify, this is not because of anything she told me or promised me. In fact, she told me it would take at least 3 months just to get my body in working order. I was CERTAIN that with my ambition and self-discipline, however, that I would end up pregnant well before that alleged date.

After 3 months, I finally started to show a glimmer of regularity. Around that time, we agreed that we would give it 3 more "normal length" cycles before deciding what to do next. Well if you consider that my last 3 cycles were 37 days, 30 days, and 33 days in length, then I think it's safe to say I have 3 "normal length" cycles under my belt.

For this cycle, she encouraged me to go back to using the ovulation predictor kits to see if we could get any concrete "proof" that ovulation was taking place. Well, nine attempts at peeing on a stick later (including one very special attempt that was interrupted by a power outage), I had yet to receive a positive result.

On the one hand, I have never had much success with OPK's, and it is common for them not to be accurate for people with PCOS (since we already have elevated LH levels), so I didn't really have high hopes for them. On the other hand, it is still very disappointing to repeatedly not get the result you are looking for (understatement of the year).

So that brings us to last Friday. I went in for my acupuncture appointment and she asked if I had shown any signs of ovulation. I told her that I couldn't say for sure, but didn't think it was likely. Thankfully, she was on the same page, because she then asked if I was ready/wanting to go back to a specialist.

Wanting to? No. Ready? Yes. 

After my session, we talked and she acknowledged the fact that even though this isn't the ideal outcome for either of us, it might be what's best for me and Brian, since we are obviously anxious to get the show on the road at this point. 

I was thankful that she wasn't offended at the idea, because I worried that she might think my wanting to go back to a specialist would mean that I'm giving up on her or on acupuncture in general, which is by no means the case. We both agree that acupuncture has helped my body get to a more stable place, so any future treatment will hopefully be more effective because of it. And she is very accustomed to doing acupuncture in conjunction with "traditional" fertility treatments, so she is used to dealing with patients that are doing both.

We also talked about the different specialists nearby that she would recommend. It doesn't really sound like there is a perfect option in our area, unfortunately. There is actually one doctor that we're interested in trying that has an office in Sugar Land, BUT the catch is that he shares a practice with Dr. C, which means we would have to deal with the same terrible nurses that we dealt with before. The thought of which makes me want to drive into oncoming traffic.

So that's where we are. Ideally, we would surprise ourselves and get pregnant this month, so this whole issue would be irrelevant. But realistically, it is a very likely possibility and one for which we have to prepare ourselves.

With that in mind, I am trying not to get myself too worked up about the potential stress, time, frustration, effort, money, etc. that will be involved with resuming treatment. Especially considering that we would be paying for treatment AND acupuncture at the same time. And wouldn't you know that we just cut down that money tree growing in our backyard? Talk about bad timing!

In case I haven't said it eleventy billion times already, your support is appreciated and your prayers are needed as we continue through this (stupid crappy pain in the butt) journey. And of course, I will keep you posted, whether you want me to or not! :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hat trick post

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote that mind-numbingly long but totally awesome survey post? Not shockingly, most of the people tagged did not comply (don't worry, I'm not hating, I know it was high maintenance). However, my wonderful pal, Brittany, most definitely did comply and even went so far as to make up her own questions! She didn't actually tag anyone specifically to answer them, but I thought they were entertaining and I really wanted to do 3 posts this week to show you all I'm not a complete slacker, so, well, you can guess where this is headed:

1. If you could take your family and friends with you and move anywhere in the United States, where would you move?
Easy- Seattle, Washington... thanks in no small part to this fun trip that we took last August!

2. If you could have any talent, what would it be?
The ability to ovulate... regularly!

3. What was your AIM screen name?
CookieAJN- cookie because they were/are my favorite dessert, and my original initials. Prior to that, I thought you might be amused to learn that Allison and I at one point shared a screen name: "Coolchix1213"

4. Other than your wedding or the birth of a child, what event in your life would you like to relive if you were given the chance?
Probably my first date with Brian- not only because it was so much fun, but also because I think it would be fun to bottle up that "first date feeling" and keep it forever just to remember how it felt!

5. What has been the biggest surprise in your life? (This doesn't have to be deep. Just a fun surprise!)
Thanks for the clarification, because "not being able to have children easily" would have been a boring answer :) Being proposed to is too cliche of an answer, so I'm going to go with the time Allison flew in from Salt Lake City to attend one of my wedding showers, unbeknownst to me until she pounced on me (sound asleep in my bed at my parents' house) at midnight the night before!

6. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Approximately 50 minutes, including time for breakfast and a little e-mail checking/blog-reading/facebook-stalking

7. What is the last book you read?
Sarah's Key

8. What is your favorite room in your house and why?
I actually really like our dining room... even though we have only used it once :)

9. If you could do it again, what is something you would change about your wedding?
This is stupid, but I think about it every time I attend someone else's wedding: I wish we had more elaborate centerpieces on the tables at the reception.

10. What is your favorite non-reality show?
Currently it's Parks & Recreation. Makes me laugh every time!

11. What is your favorite vacation spot (a place you've already been before) and why?
Camp Davis, where my family used to go for family camp every summer growing up. They still have family camp in the summer and I have high hopes of taking our family there again one day!