Tuesday, December 29, 2009



The beloved slippers.


The much desired old fashioned red long-handled underwear.

(which I can't show you in its entirety due to the indecency of the "back door")

Monday, December 28, 2009

Memorial Mondays

Next week I'm going to start a little something I'm going to call...Memorial Mondays.

Since posting
Chapter 3 - Without Great Love There Would Not Be Great Sorrow I have been deeply touched by the many friends who have contacted me to share their own experiences of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, child loss and grief. In doing so, you showed me the support and love that I needed to get over a major hurdle. This came from old friends and new friends, elderly friends and young. Friends that I know well and even some that I do not. To each, I can only say, thank you. It seems that in sharing my own experience I accomplished something that I never really intended.

You see, I posted that post for purely selfish reasons. It was time. I said things that I've never said before and described feelings which I would rather forget. In doing so, I surprisingly found a relief like I've never felt. I was hesitant. I was scared. I was unsure. In the end, I'm just grateful and hope that I really did help you as much as you helped me.

I turned the corner.

Now I realize why the national non-profit
Share is called...share. There is a power in that I didn't realize until this post, in telling someone your experience. More importantly, there is a power that I didn't realized until I listened to your responses and your own experiences, in hearing it.

So, that brings us to Memorial Mondays. It will be our opportunity to...share our experiences with each other and in doing that, hopefully feel the love and support that we each need. Believe it or not, there are more similarities between us then there are differences.

I realized that recently as I read a blog post from a friend who lost her father and brothers a few years ago in an automobile accident. On the surface, our experiences have nothing in common. Except that without great love there would not be great sorrow.

In a fraction of her grief, we have everything in common.

Or the friend who hasn't experienced loss except in the dream of having a child because her husband didn't want one.

In that hope, we have everything in common.

So to all you friends that commented, called, emailed and left me a note on Facebook...I hope that you will be willing to be featured in an upcoming Memorial Monday. No experience is insignificant, no thought unworthy of sharing. To be featured please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your own story or provide me with details you want to share and I will do it for you. You can do it anonymously or as a friend. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. After all, this is your experience.

Share it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


You know how I love me some Andrea Bocelli.

Enjoy a little piece (or peace) of heaven.

Leaving A Comment 101

In case you didn't know, Bloggers live for comments and "followers". It validates all of the nonsense that we post and keeps things interesting and fun. I keep hearing from my "blogstalkers" that they either don't have something to say (bull crap!) or don't know how to leave a comment... so here is your tutorial:

Comment 101

Step 1. At the end of the daily post...click on "0 Comments" underlined link (if the creator is lucky this will say 1 Comments...or 7 Comments...etc.)

Step 2. A new window will pop up. In this new window there will be a text box in which you can actually write a comment. (hint-hint-hint).

Step 3. After you write your comment (hint-hint-hint) you need to choose an identity.
  • If you have a Google Account you can enter in your username and password which will provide readers a link to your profile, blog, etc.
  • If you don't have a Google Account you can select "Open ID" and enter in a different type of account, still providing readers a link to your website, etc.
  • If you don't have any type of account you can select "Name/URL"...and just write your name. (This is what my mom does. She just types "mom" and then the comment is attributed to her and we all know what she says. No need to include a URL if you don't have one or know what one is).
  • If you don't want anyone to know who you are you can select Anonymous. (chicken!)

Step 4. Click the "Preview" button if you want to see what your comment will look like.

Step 5. Click the "Publish" button when you are done.

Wallah! Now the little box at the end of the post will read "1 Comment" instead of "0 Comment" and I'll be happy.

Blogstalkers - see how easy that is?! Go ahead...try it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Gift

One of my favorite family traditions is the way that we close Christmas. On Christmas Day, after a candlelight dinner served on our best crystal, china and silver....we gather around the Christmas tree for our final tradition.

Our gift to the Savior.

It is something that we've thought about throughout the entire holiday season which closes as we privately write down our gift and place it into the beloved Christmas Box, which will then be opened and shared next Christmas Eve.

I put a lot of thought into this year's gift.

It goes along with my most sincere Christmas wish for 2010. Next year, I hope to experience the joys of motherhood. Or, let me experience the wonders of pregnancy. Or, let me begin the adoption or fostering process. Let me be one step closer to being a mom.

My gift to the Savior this year is that I can qualify myself for such a blessing.


Maybe it will be in the traditional sense. Maybe it will not. We will see what 2010 brings... but my gift to the Savior this year is that I will do everything I can to make it happen and that I may be worthy such a blessing.

I wish the same to all of you still on this side of the infertility battle. Thank you to everyone for your support this year and the continual love that you have shown me. I've learned so much from each of you and I'm thankful that I am not alone in my journey.

I am already so richly blessed and for that, I am grateful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Late Night

I bet that Santa feels like this today.

I can relate.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little Touch Of Melancholy

Some of you know that there is one little aspect of the holidays which makes me really really sad. It's done it for....eight years now. Eight years. Sometimes I can't believe that it has been that long.

Every time I hear "Where Are You Christmas" by Faith Hill it transports me back into time.

Back to New York.

When I spent every ounce of energy I had working with those sad families who were going through their first holiday without the people they loved the most.

Terrorists had taken them away.

This song was everywhere that year but for us - the people still stuck at "the pile" - the words meant something else entirely.

We went from response, to recovery, to devastating loss.

That year, Christmas was gone.

When I hear this song - there are people that I think about. People like Tim Whitley's mom. He was a firefighter and although she was proud - she really missed her son. People like Hector. He didn't get to marry his fiance as planned that December. Most especially, people like Julia. She's the one that still tugs at my heart. Her husband worked at Canter Fitzgerald and she used to fight the nightmares of him jumping out a window because it just got too hot.

Eight years later, I wonder if Christmas ever came back for these people and the many like them that I grew to love.

I hope that it did.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I think I did it. I think I got her to believe.




Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Gifts of the Magi

Our family started a new tradition this year that I'm really excited about.

Like Mr. Thompson, I am so over the commercialization of Christmas. Part of this is because it is our first year having Lil' A for Christmas and the week leading up to it. For a child who has everything... it is very important for us to keep our family grounded in The Reason for The Season and the Spirit of Christmas. We want to teach her about family, traditions, service and The Savior instead of her long Christmas wish list and Santa.

Traditions are very important to me and those are the kind of memories that I want to pass on to her and create for Aaron. My childhood seeped of happiness in the traditional sense. To this day I couldn't tell you about any of the things I received or how bad I wanted something...

Rather it was the anticipation of the looks year-after-year when my dad would dress up like Elfonso and go around town bearing gifts of homemade goodies for family, friends, and strangers alike.

It was the mouth watering tastes of my mom's infamous buttered toffee, fudge, cherry rolls, pies and wassail.

It was trekking to the woods as a family to find our perfect two trees. The kid's tree downstairs was simple and old fashion with every ornament we ever made hung with care, old bubble lights, and a train running around the bottom of it. My mom's beautiful tree stood in the upstairs window and you could see its twinkling lights from the bottom of Wilson Lane. We would lay under those trees every night and tell stories and share happy memories.

It was the ditch and drops for the lonely and the needy as we worked to pay our most special Christmas forward.

On Christmas Eve we would gather together as family for homemade clam chowder served in bread bowls over candlelight.

The annual Nativity Play would always follow for a bunch of excited children who had worked to prepare.

After that Nativity Play it was about gathering around mom's tree for the Christmas Book which took us through the birth and life of The Savior with everyone singing Christmas songs throughout.

We would open the beloved Christmas Box reflecting and sharing upon what we wrote the prior year. We would then write down our new gift to the Savior that we had been thinking about throughout the holiday season, ultimately closing up the box again for next Christmas Eve.

That night we would all sleep in the same bedroom and giggling throughout the night as Santa's bells would jingle from the rooftop.

On Christmas morning we would line up on the stairs youngest to oldest...and wait for my dad to finish milking the cows so we could follow Santa's adventurous trail of string.

A few months ago my sisters and I were brainstorming on the traditions that we still enjoy and love the most. The holidays were simple growing up - because we were simple - in times that were simple. My dad was a dairy man and my mom a homemaker. Together they had eight children and two foster children. They fought to keep us grounded and teach us what was right.

As sisters we decided that this year, we would put more thought into the gifts that wise men gave to Jesus and came up with a plan on how we will keep that focus for our own lives.

Thus, we now have a three gift rule. We will package and give each other something symbolic of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

GOLD: This carries obvious gift color and significance. It's precious and worthy across all cultures and times. For us, it will symbolize something we want.

FRANKINCENSE: Used as a holy anointing oil, it's resin was derived from a tree, representing gifts wrapped in green which symbolize something we need.

MYRRH: This is perhaps the most mysterious of the Gifts. It was a sacred substance and those who could afford the resin used it an incense to treat virtually every illness and disease. Since it was reddish brown in color the gifts are red and symbolize something that will make us a better person.

On Christmas Eve as I gather together with my sisters we will continue some of these beloved childhood traditions. As we do, we will tell our children about the real Christmas story and will hopefully make these three gold, green and red gifts mean something.

Like they meant something so long ago.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Prayer For Michelle

Would you all please include Michelle in your prayers?

She's at 24 weeks and just found out that her baby hasn't developed properly with critical organs. She has a prenatal diagnosis of "lethal fetal abnormality" which is forcing her to prepare for the unimaginable.

She will be induced at the beginning of the week and for that, my heart breaks for her.

There are many difficult days ahead and I pray that there is kindness around her and angels to lift her up. Maybe you could leave her a comment of support and love.

From one angel's mother to another...may the Breath of Heaven touch you, Michelle.

Now and always.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Mr. Thompson wants one-thing-and-one-thing-only for Christmas. I bet you haven't guessed what it is...

I hate to say it but I'm getting the impression that he thinks your elves are either blind or stupid. Maybe both because this magazine keeps showing up a various places around the house with a big fat circle around it and he randomly throw out "size 8" and "Cabella's" in mid-conversation.

The elves just act like they don't see it or hear him which is emboldening and infuriating him to no end.

Why can't men be this obvious 365 days a year for their women?


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From My Tree To Yours, 2009

Thank you for the cool new Bagpipe Santa ornament, Mom. It is exquisite hand blown glass and my tree loves it.

As I'm sitting here at 4:00am playing my practice chanter under the twinkling lights.... I love it too!

What a great tradition you started the first year of our marriage. Adding a new ornament every year has become a beloved tradition for Mr. Thompson and me. This year's is simply beautiful as it celebrates the year of the bagpipes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today's Advice: The Camera Adds More Than 10 Pounds

I'll be signing autographs later.....

From a Jenny Craig Weightloss Center near you.


Holiday Traditions

This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I always show it on Christmas Eve as we remember the reason for the season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chapter 3: Without The Greatest Love There Wouldn't Be The Greatest Sorrow

For as long as I shall live, I will never be able to explain what it felt like to have that little body slip from mine.

I faintly remember screaming and covering my face with my hands as screams turned to sobs. I remember Aaron laying me down on the cold tile placing something wet on my stomach, pushing redial on the phone and talking to Dr. Anders. I remember words like "not breathing" and "911". I remember crying uncontrollably and looking up to see firemen with white faces standing in the doorway and leaning over me. I remember them working on the baby and putting me on a stretcher. I remember laying in the back of an ambulance and looking out the window into the dark night wondering where Aaron was. I remember one of the fireman who rode with us wiping a tear away and saying that he understood - his wife was expecting. I remember the other paramedic aggressively trying to find one of my non-existent veins and wishing that I hadn't requested that the nurse take my pic line out the day before to give my arm a rest. I remember arriving at the hospital and being wheeled through the halls of Labor and Delivery in a non-rush. I remember thinking that it shouldn't have been like that.

I remember wanting to die.

The fireman with the tear came in and gently placed a green plastic bag wrapped in a blanket over by the sink. I saw him make eye contact with the nurse over it. The tears couldn't stop flowing from my eyes because I knew what was in that bag that the blanket couldn't disquise and my heart was broken.

Completely broken.

It was in that moment that I was given a miracle. She had long brown curly hair and she was the one that the fireman made eye contact with. Mother Teresa says that you can judge whether someone is Christlike based upon their eyes. I remember being struck by the kindness in this good nurse's eyes. She quickly took care of me and then rushed over to the sink.

In doing that, she gave me the most precious gift that anyone has ever - or will ever - give me. I remember holding Aaron's hand so tight and both of us just crying as we watched this sweet angel very gently unwrap the green plastic bag and very lovingly remove our baby which was inside. She knew the desires of my heart without words and I remember feeling a flood of comfort over that.

That was when my worst moment became my most sacred. She wrapped our baby in a blanket and with the fragile-like care she walked towards us and said the words which will be forever etched in my mind.
"I know that this is so hard right now... but this is your precious baby who you love. You are parents and this little baby deserves the most respect and love that we can give".

We just cried as she held that bundle out to us.

It was our child.

We were hesitant so she said, "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?" A flood of emotion rushed over me because this was the day that I had a doctor's appointment to find out. I think I stammered something to that effect out.

With love she gently unwrapped the blanket and said, "It's a boy. A most beautiful and precious boy." and we cried.

We had a son.

In my wildest dreams I didn't think that this was how our anticipated surprise would unfold. "What will you name him?" she asked as she settled that bundle into my arms. Aaron and I, through our tears stammered, "Colton". We hadn't planned that - I just knew that he liked the name Colt and it felt right. It wasn't ever a question.

As I looked at my most beautiful and perfect son I was overcome with so many emotions. It was love like I've never experienced and the deepest sadness I have ever known. All wrapped in one. It felt like I was holding my heart in the palm of my hand. As I cradled him in my arms I felt the bond that every new mother expects to feel. It was both an indescribable sweetness and an undeniable grief. He was straight from heaven and as I marveled at his ten little fingers and ten little toes he was the most beautiful thing that I've ever beheld. His body was perfectly formed, although tiny in size, and I hadn't expected that.

As I passed him to Aaron I thought my heart would surely break. I remember looking into his eyes and seeing so much pain and then looking up at my nurse and seeing so much compassion.

Unknowingly, she quietly took a few photos of us in those first moments which will be my most sacred possession in this life. Yes, it was the saddest moment but it was also the most spiritual and healing. We had loved him and watched him grow since he was a little dot on a screen and although he wasn't developed beyond 24 weeks, he was the most beautiful and precious thing to us. This angel nurse worked hard to ensure that we had no regrets about that moment and that I felt the necessary bond which would help us later in our grief.

Dr. A arrived with her quiet understanding and before they wheeled me to the operating room, the nurse looked at me and promised that she would care for him until I returned. I knew with a surity that she meant it. She later gave me a Willow angel statue to represent my angel child but little does she know that for me... it represents her.

As I drifted off in the operating room I heard the anesthesiologist and different doctor talking. They mistakenly thought that I was asleep and they said something to the effect that this was the second 24 week delivery that night. 24 weeks equals viablity.

The other baby survived.

When I woke up...that was what I remembered. The other mother's baby lived while mine did not.

When they took me back to the triage room the Bereavement Specialist came in with Colton wrapped in the most beautiful crocheted blanket that someone had graciously donated. Attached was a much too big baby ring and they had placed a cute little hat on his head. She introduced herself and told me about a wonderful non-profit called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It is made up of volunteer professional photographers who go into hospitals to take photos for mourning parents. They quietly capture the poignant and the painful in those moments when the veil between heaven and earth is so close.

I will generously give that that charity until the day that I die.

From there it all becomes a blur. I remember my sister arriving and helping us make the critical decisions which had to be made. We were paralyzed in grief but she jumped in and with direction from my father, made the necessary calls and arrangements with the mortuary and funeral home. It removed a huge burden off of us and I knew that things were going to be all right with her there. Like a life preserver, she kept us afloat.

I got a blood transfusion.

They kept me in a triage room in Labor and Delivery most of the day because they couldn't find a hospital bed. I was in a big new hospital and they couldn't even find an empty bed. Eventually they made the decision that they needed to send me to the Maternity Ward.

As they wheeled me through the hallway and I heard those babies cry from the rooms with their mothers, I thought that I would surely die all over again. I just covered my face and wept as they wheeled me through the hallway. Once I looked up and saw kind eyes as I passed the nurse's station.

It ended up being a blessing in disguise.

They rearranged rooms so there weren't any babies near me and everyone who entered my room, from nursing staff to personnel from the blood bank, demonstrated a deep compassion and care. There was an added sensativity that I probably wouldn't have recieved in the other wing of the hospital. I later learned that they had placed a picture of a fallen leaf with a dew drop on my door which was their visual cue that we had lost our baby.

Another angel nurse stayed two extra hours on her shift (off the clock) to ensure that I had the greatest care and comfort....she then ran out to Barnes and Noble before they closed that night to personally purchase a book on grief which she thought would help me through the moments, days and months to follow...and then went back to the hospital (off the clock) to complete my charts for another hour.

There were too many angels around us to count. Each had a gentle touch, a kind word, and the Spirit of Christ. I often reflect on the kind of person that I want to be and those are the faces that I see in my mind.

The hospital staff assured me that as long as I was there - Colton would be there as well and they encouraged me to continue to bond with his little body if I needed. I didn't, but there was peace in the knowing.

My family eventually arrived from Idaho and along with our Bishop we were able to wrap him in a little white blanket that my mother had lovingly made and gather together as a family to give our son a name and a blessing.

Colton J Thompson

Our child who constantly reminds me that without the greatest love, there wouldn't be the greatest sorrow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chapter 2: The Pregnancy

By Dr. Q's calculations our miracle had to be about 7 or 8 weeks along when we found out. Because it wasn't something we could pinpoint under normal procedures he scheduled me the following day for an ultrasound to verify. As I was laying down on that table I turned to the nurse Ann and said, "my husband won't believe me until you get a heartbeat. Can you please tell him that we are not lying to him?". She chuckled as she squirted the goop on my belly and sure enough....there was our little bean....heartbeat and all. I remember Mr. Thompson reaching over to squeeze my hand. It was a blissfully wonderful moment.

And so our pregnancy began.

I'd love to say that it was easy but a few weeks later things started to get a little difficult. It started with regular heartburn. Heartburn quickly turned to nausea. Nausea quickly turned to full fledged morning sickness.

By week 9, I couldn't keep anything down and returned to see Dr. Q for a follow-up visit. He tried to hear the heartbeat but couldn't so he took me back to Ann for another ultrasound. Sure enough...there was our little bean....heartbeat and all. Dr. Q prescribed some medicine for the morning sickness and gave me a bag of goodies that the pharmaceutical rep swore by.

None of it worked. I got sicker...and sicker... and sicker.

We had some other problems which turned morning sickness to outright fear that we were losing our baby. We returned to Dr. Q who promptly requested another ultrasound. Sure enough....there was our little bean....heartbeat and all. While I was so sick our baby was fortunately thriving. They looked looked at my internal blood flow to try and figure out where the internal bleeding and tissue loss was coming from but came up with a nothing conclusive so Dr. Q scheduled me for weekly visits with ultrasounds.

I kept getting sicker and sicker. By week 11 he sent me to the hospital for some IV treatments. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarium, a dangerous condition in which your body essentially goes into starvation mode because it can't keep anything down.

I like to think of it as death.

I began to lose weight and the IV treatments which started as a once a week affair...quickly turned into three times a week....then to every other day....and finally to almost daily trips to Fusion Services at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. It was depressing getting IV treatments next to really sick cancer patients but it was a really interesting dynamic. There I was fighting to give life with others who were fighting keep it.

By week 14 I was on restricted duty and recommended bed rest. Our ultrasounds however, remained very positive and good. Someone once told me that morning sickness is a good sign because you usually have it with a baby who is doing well. The first sacrifice of motherhood, I guess. It may be an old wives tale but psychologically it worked because that is what I used to try and think about as I was hunched over toilets in every gas station across town. If you know about my phobia of public restrooms...you will understand how incredibly hard this was for me. Not to mention the time I was discovered throwing up behind the dumpsters at work....or in my husband's office hunched over the garbage can crying.

The one bright spot through this all was that we got to see our baby grow from week to week with regular ultrasounds. It allowed us to bond with our child much sooner than most parents. Under normal circumstances I would have watched our baby grow after birth. Fortunately for us, we got to watch our baby grow before birth. It was a beautiful thing.

After all, it was a miracle from the beginning.

By week 20, Nurse Ann asked us again if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. I held off. My sister waits to be surprised and I really liked this idea. It gave me something to look forward to and it this point, I desperately needed it. If I took a drink of water I would throw it back up. If I didn't take a drink of water...I would throw up stomach acid anyway.

On Sunday, March 29th Aaron took me to my sister's house to have her bishop give me a priesthood blessing. I'd had a few of these throughout the months and it was comforting to be told by someone that I trust and respect that God was aware of my struggles to be a mother and that everything was going to work out. He promised me improved health and motherhood.

The IV treatments continued through Week 23 and on Tuesday, March 31st the nurse at Fusion Services called Dr. Q as I wasn't "thriving" after treatments like I should have. The next step was hospitalization which I had been whining loudly during the previous 10 weeks. I begged. I pleaded. I was there every day so although close...we determined to increase my treatments (they added more stuff to my IV bag) and monitor my progress until my doctor's appointment two days later.

The following April 1st was a good day. I went in for another IV treatment and actually felt good enough to go to work so I could play a few practical jokes for April Fool's Day. My boss posted baby faces on cardboard cut-outs all over my office. It was funny. I also decided that at my appointment the following day, I was going give in and find out if it was a boy or girl. The office pool had "Girl" leading 5:1.

I was feeling so good in fact that I convinced Aaron that he needed to stop at Crown Burger to get me some french fries. It was the only thing that I could occasionally keep down. It was a big moment for me because for the first time I not only ate my entire order...but some of Aaron's too. That was a decision that I started to regret almost immediately.

I had cramps all night which I blamed on constipation from those stupid french fries. After not eating solid food for so long....I rethought my idea of eating something so "heavy". No wonder they don't ship potatoes to Ethiopia.

At about 10:00pm I went from bed to the couch because I didn't want to disturb Aaron anymore with my french fry rants. I prayed that Heavenly Father would just make the constipation pains go away. At one point I remember laying there with a prayer in my heart asking God if I should be worried. I didn't feel like I should until about 2:00am when I finally knew that I needed to wake Aaron up. It just hurt too bad.

He took one look at me and told me that he thought I was in labor. I replied that it was just the freakin' french fries but he convinced me to page the Dr. on call. Unfortunately, it wasn't Dr Q. However, Dr. A was very pleasant about this middle of the night call. She listened to me, asked some questions, agreed about the potato constipation but strongly suggested that I go to the hospital just to be safe.

Just to be safe.

I wish I would have had that thought when I was whining about being admitted again two days before, or when I ordered french fries, or when I was so worried about inconveniencing my Dr. in the middle of the night, or when I thought about how embarrassing it would be to go to the hospital just to be told it was constipation.

I wasn't constipation.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chapter 1: The Miracle

I've said in the past that I belong to a select group of women called, The Grieving Mother's Club. Some belong through infertility. Some belong through infant and child loss. Some get their membership through dreams not yet realized. Regardless, we all draw strength from each other and our unique...yet not so unique...stories.

My story began...

With the challenging diagnosis of infertility. For over a year my husband and I had been trying unsuccessfully to start a family. At the prompting of our family doctor, we began seeing a very reputable specialist. He empathized and understood that for every couple trying to have a baby...each month feels like a year. It is a roller coaster of emotions in which you hurry up...and then wait.

He was also the one that told me after a series of blood tests in November that there was no way that we could have a baby. Although I've been more ambitious in my life for the Board Room over the Laundry Room...this announcement made me realize that although I hadn't considered motherhood much in the past, I couldn't imagine it absent in my future.

So when my cycle didn't start a few days later from that doctor's visit....neither my husband or I were concerned. I didn't ovulate that month and Dr. Q's solution: a progesterone shot to "reboot" my system. Since I was feeling a little blue over his news, I convinced him to wait until after the holidays. Holidays are about children and I had just received the news that we wouldn't be having any....

I was devastated.

As we returned home from a relaxing New Year in Idaho I couldn't put it off any longer so I finally showed up the doctor's office with Mr. Thompson in tow. I signed in, waited for the nurse to call my name and started rolling up my sleeve as we walked back to the lab. She surprised me by asking me to pee in a cup first but quickly let me know that this was a routine procedure, for liability purposes.

She was humming to herself as she stuck that test strip in my sample. When she pulled it out, she stopped humming. She waited a minute (or what felt like a minute) and looked at the test again. Then she took out another test from the cupboard and tried again. I'm watching her do this believing that it was "routine procedure" just like she said.

When she pulled out the other test and looked at me, I realized that it wasn't. She grabbed my chart and started flipping through it in a frantic motion. At that point, a little alarm bell went off in my head. Then she looked up at me with this strange look on her face and said, "we can't give you the shot today." The little bell turned into a bullhorn. I knew that I didn't feel right! I had secretly worried that this could be something a little more serious then ovulation (or lack there of) issues. What if it was cancer?! Then she smiled and said those two magic words....

"You're pregnant".

"What?!" I stammered.

"Congratulations, you are pregnant", she replied.

With an elevated and disbelieving voice I countered with, "But that is not possible. I don't ovulate. Dr. Q said it isn't possible!"

Again she smiled and said, "I know. According to your chart and our previous tests, that's true. But these two pregnancy tests say something different." With that she thrust the tests to me and pointed out how pink they were. A little pink...maybe. Hot pink...definitely.

They were both hot pink.

For the first time in my life, I felt the feelings of total shock. Pregnancy was honestly the furthest thing from my mind because I resolved myself to that not being a possibility. At least not according to my trusted doctor.

At this point she had a full grin on her face because of my incoherent stammers. She patted me on the shoulder and said, "Go tell your husband. Dr. Q will call you."

I walked out to the waiting room rolling down my sleeve with more than a little alarm and disbelief written all over my face. Mr. Thompson stood up to greet me and said, "you okay?"

I kept walking and said, "They didn't give me the shot".

He stopped with a "why?!"

In a daze I kept walking...straight for the elevator. This situation wasn't exactly playing out how I dreamed it would. Do I just blurt it out in an elevator, I wondered?

Which is exactly what I did.

As soon as those elevator doors closed, I blurted out in an accusing tone "that nurse says I'm pregnant!" (as if I was all her fault and not something I so desperately wanted).

That stopped him cold. "What?!" he stammered.

"She said I'm pregnant!"

He countered with, "That's not possible. You don't ovulate!"

That's when something settled in my mind. So I smiled and said, "I know...but those two pregnancy test they just gave me say something different". I explained the difference between a little and a lot pink.

Ours were (plural) a lot pink.

That's when something settled in his mind and he said, "I don't believe it". Those were the words her repeated the entire drive home...straight to the pharmacy where he insisted that we pick up 3 different kinds of tests. He said it even after we went home and each one of those tests had the same results.

Hot pink. Two lines. Pregnant.

It was the most disbelieving joyful day of my life! We had been unsuccessfully trying to start a family and had resolved ourselves to a changed family plan after some devastating news from our doctor....but this was finally our time! As I said my prayers that night I told God that I didn't know how it was possible....I was just thankful that it was.

The next day, January 7th when Dr. Q called me, he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, "J - Don't question a miracle when God gives it to you. What you have here is an unexplainable medical miracle. Take it and be happy".

Take it we did and happy we were.

The happiest.

Which will always be.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Prancer - The Sniffling Pole Dancer

Did you miss me?

I've missed you.

I took a little sabbatical because I was hanging out with my seven (yes - SEVEN!) siblings and we were all together for the first time in seven (yes - SEVEN!) years. It was glorious.

And then I got sick.


For what has to be the seventh (yes - SEVEN) time.

But at least it was only a cold this time after three glorious weeks of health.

Mr. Thompson blames it on all of the little snotty-noses around our turkey feast. My eldest pole-dancing brother (forever to be named "Prancer - The Pole Dancer) blames it on me.

Prancer called me yesterday and the conversation went something like this:

Him: "J - this is your oldest brother. (like I wouldn't know who he is or that he is in-fact my oldest brother!).....what the hell?! I am sick and going to kick somebody's butt. "

Me: (I started laughing...)

Him: "I'm serious. I'm sick. I caught this cold and I feel like crap. Next time - we are going to have an all adult party at my house because those snotty-nosed little kids got us sick! Actually....the snotty-nosed little kids got you sick because you let them cough in your face....and then you got me sick!"

Me: (Still laughing....)

Him: "So it looks like I'm going to kick your butt!"

Me: (laughing even harder....)

Him: "Stop laughing. I'm serious. I'm going to kick your butt. Just wait. Is Aaron sick too?"

Me: (laughing harder still....)

You see, Mr. Thompson left Idaho early on the day after Thanksgiving because he didn't want to get sick. He obviously didn't think his chances through very well because he left me behind... playing with all of those snotty-nosed little kids.

It was glorious.

Even if it did make me sick. For the seventh time.

As for Prancer...he seems to have forgotten that we call him "Prancer" because he was dancing with those same little people and technically germs can transfer when little people don't wash their hands.

So if you get a cold don't blame it on me.

Blame it on one of the 24 cute kids.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Disturbing The Peace

In hopes of being a better neighbor, I paid our neighbors a little visit last night. Guilt has finally overcome me. We've lived in this house for 20 months now and still don't know the people who live around us. I can't even tell you what they look like which is shameful!

So I paid them a visit.

It was purely a social call in my effort to introduce myself and get to know them better. They are cool people who have been feeling the same way. We discussed our HOA, how funny (not really!) it is that they waited until AFTER the snow arrived to put new curbs in front of our house. We also brushed up on all the neighborhood gossip including the police woman who just moved next door and the lawsuit our HOA filed against Richmond Homes for the less than poor construction on some of the homes. We were having a very nice/neighborly conversation until my neighbor Tim switched topics and asked....

"Do you know who in the neighborhood is in the band?"

Perplexed I replied, "No, I don't. I haven't seen or heard them".

"We hear them all the time." he countered. "Sometimes it's late...sometimes it's early....but it's really crazy. It's this loud beat like their playing drums or something. I think that they are having band practice. The other night I aaaaalmost called the cops because it was ridiculous".

Oh crap! I think he's talking about my bagpipes!

I quickly bid them good night and ran home to Mr. Thompson.

I. Don't. Want. To. Go. To. Jail.

Which leads to an interesting question......

Why I'm learning to play the bagpipes?

After losing our little Colton I was really sad. I mean really sad. Tears every day sad. Cry in the bathtub kind of sad. Husband not know what to do kind of sad. One day I finally had enough crying so I decided that I was going to pick myself up off the floor and find a hobby. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. It had to be something at the top of my Bucket List.

That's where "learn to play the bagpipes" was written.

Blame it on my father who has his roots in Scotland and, since the beginning of time, has blasted bagpipe music at 6:00am in the morning to rouse the house.

Rouse the house indeed.

It apprears that I'm just doing it to the wrong house. So much for my effort to be a better neighbor!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Deep Sigh.....

I watched Pride & Prejudice for the millionth time last night. [Sigh]

It's my favorite movie.

The last lines get me every time.....

Mr. Darcy: How are you this evening, my dear?
Elizabeth Bennet: Very well... although I wish you would not call me "my dear."
Mr. Darcy: [chuckles] Why?
Elizabeth Bennet: Because it's what my father always calls my mother when he's cross about something.
Mr. Darcy: What endearments am I allowed?
Elizabeth Bennet: Well let me think...”Lizzie" for every day, "My Pearl" for Sundays, and...”Goddess Divine"... but only on *very* special occasions.
Mr. Darcy: And... what should I call you when I am cross? Mrs. Darcy...?
Elizabeth Bennet: No! No. You may only call me "Mrs. Darcy"... when you are completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy.
Mr. Darcy: [he snickers] Then how are you this evening... Mrs. Darcy? [kisses her on the forehead]
Mr. Darcy: Mrs. Darcy... [kisses her on the right cheek]
Mr. Darcy: Mrs. Darcy... [kisses her on the nose]
Mr. Darcy: Mrs. Darcy... [kisses her on the left cheek]
Mr. Darcy: Mrs. Darcy... [finally kisses her on the mouth]

....and now you know why I call my husband Mr. Thompson.....

[Deep sigh]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Peep Has A Peep

My big sis broke her ankle yesterday. She stepped in a hole on her way to feed her chickens. Call me irreverent... but I can't stop laughing about it. (Sorry but it's FUNNY!).

Not the fact that she broke her ankle...or tore her tendons...and has a Loritab prescription she refuses to use. That isn't funny. So sad in fact, that I'm going to make her a pot of my much requested homemade chicken noodle soup.

And I'll even use her chickens in my recipe if she wants me to because that is the part of the story which has me laughing so hard.

My sister has chickens!

Smack dab in the middle of the city!

A whole freakin' flock!

Perhaps the funniest part of the story is that her husband adamantly refused to let her get chickens. When I mean adamantly, I mean adamantly. The whole family was working to wear him down but he stuck to his guns. Adamantly.

I hate to say it, but I knew he was going to eventually break. I knew it at dinner last spring when the four of us had date night at the infamous Maddox restaurant in rural Brigham City.

Ironically, Maddox is known for their fried chicken.

As as we were waiting our 45 minutes to be seated I remember my sister and I gazing out the window at the little farm across the street. With much longingly my sister said, "I want to get some chickens". She had Chicken Little stars in her eyes.

My bro-in-law heard her from a distance with his sonar ears and shut her down very quickly with an adamant "we are NOT getting chickens!". From there continued a most hilarious conversation (otherwise known as rant) about all the reasons why they were NOT. EVER. GOING. TO. GET. CHICKENS.

Disgusted with the whole conversation, most especially me who took it as an opportunity to push every last one of his buttons (poor chap - it's something I excel at!)...he finally walked away leaving the rest of us in his dust. At that point, I turned to my sister and said, "Let me know when your peeps arrive".

"I pick them up on Monday", she replied.

Ha. My poor brother-in-law didn't stand a chance. For that, he now has a wife with a broken ankle.

Maybe I should take it as an opportunity to remind him that it's a good thing she isn't a horse or we'd have to take her out and shoot her.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Devil Wears Prada...and Sometimes Gucci!

I had a funny conversation with a friend the other day. After 12 years of knowing each other he noted...."What most people don't know about you Wilson (that's what he calls me) is that you really do have a sensitive side."

Oh great - my secret is out. After 12 years of friendship DeLeon has finally figured out that I have working tear ducts.That...I'm really not Cruela Devil or The Devil Wears Prada.

Reminded me of an exit interview I did a few months ago. My first happy ending in 16 months. It was happy because I couldn't begrudge an employee I very much liked and respected because he took a new job which would earn him and his family a lot more money. The non-profit life isn't for everyone and I understand that.

This exit interview was actually...dare I say....fun?! We laughed and ate cookies the whole way through it. After we sobered up from my first name discloser (that's what he wanted to know as a going away gift)....I asked him what I could do to be a better manager. His reply surprised me....

"You're a sharp woman.... and you intimidate people. They don't see your vulnerabilities. They need to see you as a real person. For example - they need to know that you play the bagpipes! Nobody even knows that."

That's what he said - I know because I wrote it down. In short, he was telling me that people are afraid of me and I need to not be so private because that's intimidating.


I think I heard this in NYC too. I remember Crazy Razy, Price and Noelle telling me that they were afraid of me before they got to know me.


Holly and Katie said it too.


I guess I better give everyone the link to my blog so they can see that my bagpipe teacher falls asleep on me every week and that I had a black eye recently because I literally got flipped off the treadmill. Truth be told, I have at least one significantly retarded moment every week and.... I. Cry. All. The. Time. That's my reality. How's that for vulnerability?

Speaking of retarded moments....

Mr. Thompson and I have tallies that we keep on each other.

His is a curse jar. Every time he curses he owes me 25 cents. In one week alone I earned a whopping $16.25 (that's 65 curses in case you're wondering...1/2 of which were in open defiance to the jar) .

Mine is a "don't be retarded" jar. This was his way of getting back to me on the curse jar (which was HIS original idea mind you!). So every time he thinks that I do something retarded I owe him 25 cents. I vehemently disagree as it is all subjective but when I vocalize my displeasure....it just earns him another quarter so I've learned to shut up. During that same week he only earned $3.00.

There you go. I'm open and exposed (in a non-gay and non-naked way). What else would you like to know?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

An old friend asked me how I met Mr. Thompson. An interesting question indeed. The answer goes something like this....

Once Upon A Time....in a land far away called New York City....there was a beautiful princess named JaLae (this is my story so I can say what I want). She would prance around with her basket of joy helping people who suffered bad things. She would hum from disaster to disaster because she loved her job and the people she worked with.

One morning in September while she was talking with the leaders of the land about all the humming and prancing they were doing....some evil people called "terrorists" decided to hurt a lot of people. So along with the leaders and responders she stopped humming and prancing...and went to work. For three years she worked. She worked... and she worked... and she worked.

Until one day she looked around and realized that nobody was humming or prancing anymore. It seemed like everyone was dysfunctional and getting divorced from their families because of the evil people and what they had done. That made her sad. And lonely.

So she kissed the good people goodbye, listened to the lectures about committing "career suicide" and moved back to the west so she could be closer to her family. She did this even though there wasn't a huge need for humming and prancing where she was going.

One day she noticed a job in a different part of the Red Cross called Blood Services. It wasn't quite like prancing and humming from disaster to disaster but she decided to try it for a while and accepted a position to manage their regional volunteer program.

One day a bad hurricane was approaching a village called New Orleans...so her old friends who were working on their dysfunctions and divorces called her and asked her to travel very quickly to help the people prepare. She did, with the blessing of Blood Services. The hurricane hit and she realized she was really in Hell where she stayed for two months. She worked...and she worked... and she worked.

While she worked she could only call her family on a satellite phone until one day she could mysteriously send text messages (not calls) on her cell phone. So she did. A lot of text messages. Without cares about how much it was going to cost the part of the Red Cross which didn't really understand disasters or text message budgets.

When she returned to Salt Lake City she decided that she needed to make nice with the manager who got her cell phone bill. When she approached him she realized that it was none other than Mr. Thompson, the former manager from another department that she didn't like. He had changed jobs. She didn't like him because he almost got her killed by a mean girl who wanted to volunteer but couldn't because she had gotten into trouble for something called "drugs". Mr. Thompson knew Mean Girl's father who worked for the police department and was just trying to help. Unfortunately, he made promises the Red Cross couldn't keep and the princess had to break the news to Mean Girl and her father.

The princess barely got away unscathed from the Mean Girl who wanted to beat her up and as a result, didn't like Mr. Thompson.

But when she realized he was the keeper of her cell phone...she had to like him.

So in her effort to "make nice" she learned that he was a Boston Red Sox fan. She, of course, was a Yankees fan which gave her permission to start playing pranks and trashing talk.

So she did.

In return, he not only took care of the cell phone bill but started bringing her Mountain Dews each morning.

One night he invited her to a sports bar to watch a baseball game. She had a long day of conference meetings but turned the car around and met him for a drink.
Pranks and trash talking eventually turned into admiration and respect.

They became friends and kept it a secret.

They eventually fell in love and still kept it a secret.

They got engaged and still kept it a secret.

They planned a non-Red Cross wedding in Hawaii and still kept it a secret!

Because of that, the princess is glad she committed career suicide and Mr. Thompson is glad he handles the cell phones.

And so they live happily ever after.

The end.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh Hollywood....

Body language says it all. My big sister didn't stand a chance against attitude like this....

Man, I love her!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sometimes It's The Destination

There is a phrase floating out there which says something like...."life is about the journey, not the destination".

I think that's wrong.

Sometimes it's really is about the destination.

That's how I feel about infertility.

And weight loss too.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Few Delilah Dedications

Uncle Tom (can I call you that?)....I'd like to formally welcome you to Viva la Vida. I don't know if I say anything interesting but you gotta know that Mr. Thompson speaks (and thinks) very highly of you. Some of his best childhood memories include you.

That's a compliment since he doesn't have many so I'm really appreciative. I love his guts and am happy to have an in-law instead of an out-law.

Welcome to our family. I can't wait to see your blog!


Janae....you need to know that I once had lofty dreams about uniting our families through you and Cody....but I read your blog and am so happy that you got a good man too. Would you by any chance mind if I Photoshop our heads into that great black and white photo of you and Mike? I want a photo like that and Photoshop is the only way I'll get it.


Tobi...I'm not going to recant my vote and nominate you for Homecoming Queen '93 unless you become my Follower. You're on notice.


Dos Amigos....I lost two pounds because of you this week. Much love to Jillian and Bob.


Blogstalking peeps....I love you all but will love you even more when you add your beautiful face to my Follower box. I know where you live so you can run but you can't hide.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Dream A Dream

Bagpipe lesson didn't exactly go according to plan today. Something to do with the fact that I still feel like crum and cough a lot. That and the fact that I haven't exactly practiced for two weeks.

Ever try to blow into a bagpipe when you can't breath? Doesn't exactly work with this piggy flu thing.

I went to my lesson today with a list of excuses on why I haven't improved or couldn't even remember anything from the last lesson for that matter. No excuses needed.

Robert de Brus was surprisingly sympathetic to my cause.

(Dare I hope that I'm "growing" on him? That the ornery old Scot is losing his orneriness?)

Upon walking through the door he informed me that once upon a time... he used to be a Respiratory Therapist. My first impression was that it is sure strange to go from that....to this....but I guess it kind of makes perfect sense.

It take a lot of wind to make music (or in my case...noise) on the bagpipes. Wind usually comes from your respiratory system. Thus, Respiratory Therapist to Drill Sergeant.

See, it makes perfect sense I say.

Do you think that means that I can go from Non-Profit Manager to Bagpipe Extraordinaire?

Where there is a will (or Wilson) there is a way!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

I love bloggersphere (is that a word?). If you need support - there is support to be had. Oodles of it actually (is that a word?) . Strangers become friends as you walk these many miles together. Lo and behold - I have realized that many of these good souls (too many in my humble opinion) are even wearing the same pair of shoes.

As I navigate this unexpected path....these are some of my new favorite friends and their sites.

999 Reasons To Laugh At Infertility
Stirrup Queens
Taking The Statistical Bullet
I Never Thought It Made Sense Anyway
Share Your Thoughts
My Yellow Brick Road Has Potholes

I get these women and they get me. Who needs to pay for therapy with friends like these?

Not me.

p.s. I love that I have 4 new Followers! Did you add your beautiful face yet?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where My Peeps At?

Why isn't your beautiful face smiling at me from My Peeps window?

Click on the "Follow" link on the right and become a Viva La Vida follower. Then I can legitimately tell my mother that... I'm a leader.

Every parent's dream for their child.

(and proof that we paid attention in Primary).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Breaking News

It's official: H1N1 is the dominant illness worldwide.


That would make my house an international household. Which should make Mr. Thompson happy because he claims to be Scottish anyway. He even reads the Scottish daily newspaper every morning to prove it.

He's not of course, but since he's already endured this crap which has had me laid up in bed for seven days (Count them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!)...I'll let him celebrate his international status and claim to be Scottish.

I guess this technically makes us....worldly.

So what exactly have I done while I've been laying in bed for seven (yes, seven!) days?

I....learned early on that you shouldn't steal you husband's sleeping pill and mix it with a dose of Tylenol Nighttime Cough and Cold. It put me in a near coma and got me good and drunk. Yes, drunk. I stumbled around like I was finally taking a nip of my Famous Grouse Highland Game tug-o-war winnings (that's right, the Wilson sisters all proudly won bottles of whiskey).

I...realized how very nice my Mr. Thompson is as he will make repeated midnight runs to the drug store for more NyQuil and Tylenol. Ah, the things we do for love. Think it will work for ice cream?

I...finally caught the Oprah fever. I even submitted an online application for Oprah's Step Out Of Your Box challenge based upon Wednesday's great episode. So throw some salt over your shoulder for luck that they'll pick me because I've decided that I'm not going to wait until I'm 40 to go skydiving or lose 60 pounds before I go skinny dipping again (yes, again. Thank you Hyrum Reservoir). I'm going to continue my quest for living in the moment. As I proposed to Oprah, I don't want to wait until my next life until I become a race car driver. I'd like to do it today. Now.

I....also read three books. Smutty romance novels each and every one of them. All bought and paid for by Mr. Thompson. Last time I asked him to pick me up a book he grabbed a murder mystery about a pagan vampire.

No thanks.

So, I've appropriately schooled him and he is trained to pick out anything which reads "Highlander" in the title and has a photo of a strapping warrior on front. No Fabio please.

I get this from my grandmother you know. My beloved Grandma Fae was the meek women with oodles of quiet dignity....but she had a strong liking for romance novels. Even after a stroke in her 80's she had to learn to walk again, talk again, and read again. She did this , just so she could return to her Harlequins.

When she would come over for holidays she would patiently sit in the rocking chair while my momma and sisters prepared the feast. Since I can't cook worth a darn that would make me....The Reader.

Ever read a Harlaquin Romance to a 90 year old woman? It will make your face burn! I would get so embarrassed that I would stutter...stammer...and try to bridge the parts I just had to skip. I couldn't say it. Not to my grandmother!

And every time I would look up, she would smile at me in her demure little way with a twinkle in her eye.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess.

I hope Mr. Thompson is up for another grocery store run when he gets home. I can't wait to see what Grandma inspires him to pick out today!

If it involves a Highlander then this international illness might be worth it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Inquiring Minds Like Yours Want To Know

I've had a few phone calls. Curiosity killed the cat...and some of you have inquired about the secret I'm keeping.

It's keeping you up at night.

The bold have just come right out and asked....

Am I prego? No.

Trust me - I wouldn't/couldn't keep that secret. I determined, regardless of what Mr. Thompson says, if we are blessed with that blessing again...I'll shout it from the rooftops and celebrate each day.

Even if it doesn't last.

Because each day is something to celebrate.

But back to the issue at hand. I'm not prego. Matter of fact, the secret I'm keeping doesn't even have anything to do with me. Well...sort of doesn't have anything to do with me. I guess if you want to get technical, it does. But who wants to be technical?

Not me.

Back to the prego issue. Just in case inquiring minds like yours want to know...I did my benefits today and put a huge chunk of change in my medical flex spending account.

We'll give IVF one more shot at the beginning of the year. After I lose at least 20 pounds.

Anybody with me?

I'm looking for a "Jillian".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Every Good Grandma...

Every good grandma needs a dress up box.

pictured left to right: me, Clay (brother), Buster (cousin)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Flipped through the channels today in my drug induced state and ran across an interesting tidbit of advice. I think it was on Rachel Ray and the advice was by Emme (a plus-size model). She said (and I quote).

"There are two faux pas in life...
  1. Big girls who wear empire waist dresses. (oops)
  2. People who ask big girls who wear empire waist dresses if they are prego."

We're not.

I feel strangely repremanded and validated in the same statement. I won't break rule #1 if you won't break rule #2.

Thanks Emme!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Always Faithful

I know a secret and it's killing me. Why do secrets do that? Why don't you guess it ....then technically I won't break my promise and tell anyone. :)


I'm looking for book recommendations. I want to read something....but don't know what. Suggestions?


My niece, the Halloween Hobo, asked me to put up more pics of Disneyland. Check out the bottom of the page for a big fat "I Love You"!


Mr. Thompson has been sick this week. Guess what? Now I am too. I guess that's what happens when someone coughs in your face. This flu thing STINKS! I don't do sick very well and he is going to pay.


Congrats to my momma who finally busted out of the hospital. Glad you are on the "up" Ma. Continued thoughts and prayers coming your way for a speedy recovery.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat?


This is what the Wicked Witch of the West will be handing out to all the little pretties who come a nockin'. Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why Sunblock Is Your Friend

I promised to tell you about the other life I have ruined and must deliver on my promise. It beats the towel story by a mile and went something like this....

Once upon a time (1999 to be exact) I lived in Mexico. I studied at El Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterry (ITESM) in Cuernavaca (1/2 hour south of Mexico City) for two semesters. I loved every minute of it.

Because every minute of it was totally bazaar. When I say bazaar...I mean bazaar! I swear - nothing normal happened during those months but that's what you should expect when you house a bunch of international students in a compound owned by a drug lord. (How quickly I digress. More about my drug runner landlord, the dirty Belgium who lived below me, and the maid who didn't wash the bed sheets but rather shook them out and placed them on the next apartment's bed later....)

Back to my story.

On weekends we would always travel (which is where 1/2 of my bazaar adventures would happen). One weekend we decided to go to Acapulco. I have no idea why...except that it was Acapulco and we decided that it was important for us to go there.

Unfortunately, we went for an extended weekend when the weather was bad. After checking into our hotel we decided to hit the beach, despite the storm, because we had traveled all that way to have some fun.

So the international Gringos hit the beach.

The beach was deserted. When I mean deserted - I mean deserted. Not another soul on the most popular beach in Acapulco, Mexico.


No bother - more uninterrupted fun for us. Or so we thought. Despite the rain and high winds...we decided to hit the big waves and go body surfing.

At one point a big wave hit me and undid the top of my swimming suit. For that, I was glad that the beach was deserted. A little while later as I was standing on the beach, a big wave hit me carrying a cement block which I feared broke my leg.

But did I stop? No.

Not until the point that I actually experienced the afterlife. One minute I was laughing and the next I remember clawing for the ocean surface only to be sucked down again...and again...and again.

I almost drowned.

We later learned that all those signs on the beach (that we didn't bother to read) announced the beach's closure due to the eye of a hurricane which was passing through Acapulco that day.

I almost drowned in a hurricane and I was too stupid to know it.

A few days later the weather improved so we returned to the beach. Since I had the near drowning experience a few days prior I was understandably a little gun shy about the whole affair so I stayed behind to "lay out" while my fellow Gringos enjoyed local cliff jumping. Since I wanted to get a tan....I decided not to use sunscreen.

Again, I'm a Gringo. Not exactly the smartest decision I've ever made.

As I was laying there being approached by all the local women who wanted to braid my hair into cornrows....I decided to take a little nap. Surely they wouldn't bug me for money if I was asleep, which was unfortunately true. When the Gringos returned to my beach spot some 5 hours later....they woke me up, looked at me and told me that I should go indoors for a while as I looked quite red. I obliged because I didn't feel very well.

They however, decided that they wanted to go to dinner and then a local club. I opted out. Too much sun.

So I went to my hotel room and that is where the misery began. Every part of my body that hadn't been covered by my swimming suit was on FIRE. My teeth however were chattering because I was so COLD. (If you need to know symptoms of a severe burn google it. Something about blood being drawn away from the skin to rush to the affected burn areas). So with my teeth chattering I stumbled to the hot shower in search for some type of warmth/relief.

Reminder: I was developing a very bad sunburn. Again, not exactly the smartest decision I've ever made.

Obviously I didn't last long in the shower/bath because it hurt so flippin' bad!

So....I decided to crawl into bed with a hair dryer. It seemed like my only option at the time. I would use the hot air on all the places that my swimming suit covered which was becoming a strange tint of blue.

With blow dryer in hand, I eventually blacked out.

From that point on I only remember praying and my Gringo roommate eventually walking in the door...taking one look at me....and in one fluid movement (total U-turn without stopping) walking right back out the door.

I later woke up in the bathtub freezing as I was surround by ice cubes...completely BUCK NAKED....with a little strange Spanish man looking at me. In broken Spanish he announced that he was the hotel doctor and that I was going to live.

Despite my severe burns and heat stroke.

And I totally ruined his life (not to mention my own) in that moment of glory.

Trust me - I still have the "tan" lines to prove it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And So It Goes....

This is what I learned today:

I can go exactly 15 days without picking up my bagpipes and still be able to appear like I practiced. It was "fake it till you make it" like you've never seen before.

Robert de Bruc was none the wiser. He actually congratulated me and told me what a great job I was doing.

I must have caught him on a "good" day.

This is reminiscent of my piano lessons. I only practiced about a 1/2 hour before my recitals/festivals and still managed to come home with "superior" ratings and 1st place trophies.

4-H taught me that if you just smiled at the Judge a little, then it didn't matter that your little lamb was wild as hell.

Just think, if I actually put some effort into it... I could probably be a genius.

Then again, maybe not. I'm not smart enough to try.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Viva la Disneyland!

I'm tired.

Really tired.

I guess it's part of being 35.

Today. I. Feel. Every. Year.

We left Disneyland at 6:00am yesterday morning and by the time we pulled into our driveway at 8:00pm I had to remind myself that it was soooooo worth it.

It was.

We drove non-stop and checked into the hotel before midnight on Thursday...woke up and was at Disneyland by 9am the next morning....played hard all day on my birthday and stayed through the fireworks at 10pm....woke up on Saturday and was at California Adventure by 10am.....rode the California Screamin' roller coaster 7 times (count them 7!).....played hard all day and back to the hotel swimming by 9pm......woke up and was at Disneyland by 9am for the final day of our 3-day Hopper passes...played hard all day but bailed out on the firework crowd and watched them from our hotel balcony until 10pm instead.....woke up at 6am on Monday for lift off back to Utah.

It was a wonderful, fantastic, fabulous whirlwind of a birthday adventure. We made the most of every moment. Matter of fact, we filled up our autograph books.

For that, I am tired.

Really tired.

And totally in love with Mr. Thompson for making me feel every one of my 35 years.

Ain't love grand?