What A Visit!

I had a wonderful time! We went out quite a bit, going to parks and restaurants. We all went to a painting class where each of us painted the moon phase of our birthday.

My sister and I drank some lovely local wine…

and went on the daytime paranormal tour at The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (we even met a couple of ghosts).

Plus, we three girls got matching shoes.

It was a marvelous visit and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Storytime: Brownie

There have always been animals in my life. Cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, even a guinea pig. My dad is an animal lover; my mom is not. He would always bring home random animals and she would just roll her eyes and end up taking care of them.

One of my favorite pets was a brown and white cat. He had two names, Brownie and Glover. Brownie because he had brown patches and Glover because he looked like he was wearing gloves (he was a polydactyl). Not totally original, but accurate.

We had him for many years. Every night, he would sleep above my head, massaging my scalp with his claws. It was soothing and always put me to sleep quickly.

Sometimes, while playing with Brownie, I would start meowing like him. My father would yell for the cat to be quiet and I would just laugh. After a while, he caught on and started asking Is that Kellie or the cat?? Again, it made me laugh.

I don’t remember what happened to Brownie. He probably died. All I know, is one day he was gone. I’m sure I was sad, but we had such a revolving door of animals, that I wouldn’t have stayed sad for long.

It’s possible that being surrounded by animals my whole childhood is what led to me having so many animals as an adult. Either that, or the fact that my husband is a bigger animal lover than even my dad. And that is saying something.

It’s Almost Time!

Last May, my baby sister Mary came out to visit us and attend my college graduation. Well, she enjoyed herself so much, that she is coming back – in three days! And this time, she’s bringing an extra visitor with her. I’m super stoked and can’t wait to see them both!

Since my family lives on the other side of the country, it’s always wonderful when one of them visits. Even more so when it’s more than one.

I hope they enjoy themselves as immensely as I know I will!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Happy Father’s Day!

As a woman who has dealt with infertility issues, I know how hard it is to make it through a parental holiday, namely Mother’s Day. What I forget sometimes is that it’s also hard on my husband. He wants to be a father just as much as I want to be a mother. So, Father’s Day is difficult for him.

I don’t usually write about issues that aren’t my own, but I feel like the topic of infertility is almost always directed at women and, perhaps unintentionally, men get left out of the conversation. Their feelings are just as valid and need to be recognized. I know it can be hard to talk about these things, believe me, I get it. But it should be noted that it’s ok for men to be part of the infertility topic. In fact, it’s vital. They are half of the equation after all.

So, to all the men who long to be fathers, but haven’t quite gotten there yet, I feel your pain and want you to know that your feelings have merit. Today may be challenging, but you will get through it. You may have to hide away from social media and people in general, I know I do, but you are not alone. There is support out there if you need it.

I hope everyone’s weekend is better than expected!

Remembering the Fallen

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Time for cookouts, family, and honoring those that have fallen fighting for our freedom. It’s important to remember that the freedoms we enjoy every day are not free. They are earned by the blood, sweat, and tears of the men and women of the United States military. It’s easy to take what we have for granted, to become complacent about the source of our liberties. That’s why it’s so vital that, at least a few times a year, we take a moment and give thanks to those that fight for our rights.

I’m proud to be a veteran. In fact, the military is a deep part of my family history – my father is a veteran, my husband is a veteran, and my brother and brother-in-law are currently serving. So, to all those that take up the mantle, I say Thank You.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!

Birthday Wishes

I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday! He’s my friend, my role-model, my hero. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I am forever thankful for everything he’s done, for me and the rest of our family.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tomorrow, May 12th, has multiple meanings for me. The most obvious is that it’s Mother’s Day. I love my mother immensely and know just how lucky I am to have her in my life. It’s also the day, seventeen years ago, that I met my husband. Another lucky break for me.

What I’m trying to say is that, while Mother’s Day is difficult for me for personal, fertility-based reasons, it’s also a day that has brought me great joy. It is a day of contrasts for me indeed.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Storytime: Beauty and the Beast

When I was nine years old, Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast came out. It’s the first movie I remember seeing in theaters. It stuck in my memory because of what happened that day before we went to the movies.

My dentist in Arizona was named Dr. Lamb. I saw him every six months for routine cleanings. When I reached the age of nine, he decided that, in order for my adult teeth to grow in with no problems, I needed to have four of my molars pulled. The reasoning behind this decision was that, with one molar taken from each quadrant of my mouth, my adult teeth would have the room necessary to grow in without overcrowding. Now, mind you, I still ended up needing braces due to extremely crooked and crowded teeth. So, I’m not entirely sure that his idea actually worked. Regardless, at this point in my life, that was the procedure recommended, so that’s what I got.

My appointment was in the morning and I got to miss school. Not a bad trade-off. Or so I thought. I’m not a fan of going to the dentist for anything other than cleanings. I love getting my teeth cleaned. They feel so wonderful afterwards and don’t hurt in the process. Anything else, as in anything that requires the use of needles in my gums, and I’m a huge mess. Nowadays, I can only go in for other procedures under the use of sedation – either I.V. or pill sedation.

Of course, that wasn’t an option when I was a child. I had to lay there quietly as they placed the numbing gel in my mouth on a cotton swab, followed by the dreaded needle for the full numbing effect. It wasn’t fun. Once I was fully numb, he used these awful looking pliers to grab my teeth, that weren’t even loose yet, and twisted and yanked until they finally released from my mouth. There was no pain at this point, but the sound was simply appalling. The ripping and tearing sounds as the roots were broken made me cringe.

When all was said and done, I had a mouth full of cotton and four less teeth. My face was numb for a long time afterwards and I couldn’t eat or drink anything until the feeling came back. I was fairly miserable and wishing I’d just gone to school instead. I think my mum must have known this and decided to cheer me up with a special trip to the movie theater, just me and her. It was awesome.

We got in the theater just after the movie started, but before anything big happened. It quickly became one of my all-time favorite movies and has stayed that way ever since. When the live action remake came out in 2017 with one of my favorite actresses, I was thrilled. When it turned out to be excellent, my heart overflowed with joy. Having been connected to a terrible experience, I could have ended up despising the movie. I’m glad it went the other way though. Belle is a heroine I can truly relate to and who continues to inspire the bookworms of the world to keep reading and be kind to everyone, even the beasts in our lives.

Happy Easter!

Tomorrow holds a great deal of meaning to many people. For me, it’s more about it being my parents’ anniversary. In fact, it’s their 40th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment, especially in today’s world. Most people view marriage as something of a temporary nature. More like dating than an actual commitment.

I hold a different view.

Perhaps it’s old fashioned, but I believe that marriage is meant to last a lifetime. Marriage is hard work. I know from experience. I have been married for almost 17 years myself and it hasn’t been one long walk in the park. But even when times get hard, for whatever reason, I have never seen it as an excuse to just give up. And, luckily for me, neither has my husband. We both have the same view on taking vows. We take our vows to each other seriously, just as we took our vows to our country seriously.

I appreciate that being with someone else, anyone else, can have its trials and tribulations. All I’m saying is that it shouldn’t be so easy to throw away what should be a lifelong commitment.

That was a little preachy, I know. I just have strong opinions when it comes to the state of matrimony.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and, to my parents, Happy 40th Anniversary. We all love and respect you so much!!

Binge-fest

When Game of Thrones first came out, back in 2011, I tried watching it, but it was never much of a priority. I had much more important shows to watch, like Supernatural and True Blood.

My husband recently started watching Game of Thrones and I found myself getting drawn in. This culminated in us binge-watching the seventh season in its entirety yesterday.

It was awesome!

I am now quite impatient for the eighth, and final, season to begin in three weeks. I can’t believe I waited this long to watch such an impressive show. Better late than never.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!