Tuesday, January 4, 2011

so tremendously overdue

So my last post was more than a year and a half ago. Shameful.
It is especially shameful considering the events of the last year and a half.
Let's just say it may have been one of the most eventful 20 months of my life -- some incredibly high highs and some pretty tough lows.
So I'll just give you the Cliff Notes version:
Sept. 12, 2009, Michael and his best bud Ray (who share a birthday) were celebrating with about 30 of our friends at our house. The party was super awesome complete with a giant jumpy water slide, drive-thru daiquiris and some awesome friends. I'd made Michael and Ray's favorite cakes complete with fancy candles as well as cupcakes. There was PLENTY of cake. After the boys blew out their candles Michael says, "There's not enough cake. I got another cake because I didn't think there would be enough."
I grumbily go inside because I'm kind of pissed off because there is more than enough cake. He calls me back outside and he walks toward me with a white sheet cake in his arms with the words, "Will you marry me" written in pink icing.
So sweet. I couldn't believe it and for some reason was convinced he was going to smash it into my face.
I said yes and squealed and cried.
It was so much fun as friends filtered in later that night -- I'd say, "Look at this cake" and they'd squeal like I had.
I'm a lucky girl.
So by that Monday I had a venue and wedding date picked. My in-laws thought I was insane, but we have discussed my planning proclivities.
Wedding planning and events came and went. It was great fun. I had a wonderful shower at Aunt Brenda's house put together by my friend Tia and new family in Louisiana. Dress shopping with David was interesting. I scoured the internet for deals, DIY techniques and other craziness to make this wedding happen.
I also got a second job at Walden Books and had the best time (and got some great deals.) Everyone got books or other items from the bookstore that year for the holidays. And it was fun. If I could make as much as I make in my "real job" at the bookstore, I'd totally do that full time.
The crazy planning for the wedding -- which was also a lot of fun -- came to a screeching halt just a few weeks before the wedding itself with a phone call.
I immediately knew something was up when my mom called and said, "Are you at work?" "No." "Is Michael there?" "Yes." "Your dad has cancer."
It didn't happen all that abruptly but it felt like that. It felt like I'd been shot. I lost it. I cried like a baby. I had no idea what to do. I'm crying now typing all this. Sigh.
Michael took the phone. He got the details. It didn't really matter. Details didn't change the facts.
We all knew dad wouldn't live forever. No one does. But my dad has struggled with illnesses before. He's been at the verge of some terrible stuff but always pushed through it. And although we are hopeful he will do it again -- HOPE -- is my motto now a days, it gets harder and harder to have that hope now.
So mom, dad and Sarah came as planned (well dad wasn't going to come until the weekend of the wedding but with the news and how he was feeling came early) a week before the wedding. It was wonderful to have everyone together. It had been forever since we'd all had time together as a family.
The wedding was perfect. It was a beautiful day on March 27, 2010. We were married outside of the Samuel Guy House in Natchitoches, La. The reception was there as well. We had a brunch with mimosas, an omelet and belgian waffle station, cheese grits, sausage and biscuits.
Everyone was there. We had an awesome photo booth with costumes, we had an amazing live band -- Fat Boys South -- and it was the best time with family and friends. We started the day around 5 a.m. (getting ready, photos, etc.) and didn't stop partying until as late as 3 a.m. It was perfect.
Time came and went. Michael and I honeymooned in New Orleans and had a great time.
Work was work. We both continued to slave away at the word factory. Until late June...
With dad being sick, well really for the past several years, I've wanted to get closer to home. Dad's illness just gave the desire some urgency.
I started a job in Anderson, Ind., as the government and business reporter on July 1, 2010. I moved by myself and after just a few months of marriage Michael and I went it alone. He stayed in Louisiana living with Ray at our old house (which Ray moved into) and I moved here by myself with the Van Gogh.
It was tough, for both of us. Lots of tearful phone calls, lots of emails, lots of texts. But we made it.
In September Michael joined me and worked as a freelance reporter for both The Town Talk in Louisiana (via his desk in Indiana) and for the paper I work for here. In October he was named the sports editor at The Chronicle Tribune in Marion. It is long hours and an hour commute one way so I know it is tough for him. But he's a trooper.
I have tried to take advantage of being close to home and go see mom and dad as often as possible. Dad has good days and bad. There have been several hospital stays, even a long stint in ICU and a surgery, but we revel in the good days.
On Nov. 13, we threw a surprise party for the coolest dad around. Our pretty awesome family came from near and far to celebrate the day with us as well as friends. It was an amazing day.
The following Monday was a pretty amazing day too. Michael and I decided, even though we hadn't even been married a year, that it was time to give Van a little brother or sister. Like the move, dad's illness hastened this desire. I can't imagine my child not getting to know, or at least meet, his grandfather who is one of the most amazing people around.
So that Monday -- Nov. 15 -- I thought perhaps maybe the baby making had "stuck" and drove to Walgreen's on a full bladder (because first thing in the morning is the best time to test) picked up some tests and then rushed to work. I took the test in the bathroom at work and it was positive. I took it again. It was still positive.
I went out to my car and called my mom in tears. I called Michael. Gulp. That was his reaction. It was followed by excitement.
And from that point on Poppy was a part of our lives. Poppy is the baby's name (unknown gender) for the time being as when we found out about the baby he or she was the size of a Poppy seed.
The baby is now the size of a large plum and I'm nearly 12 weeks along. It is all very exciting.
So ups, downs and in-betweens, it has been a heck of a year and a half.
That's all for now (I've done more than enough). I will try to be a better, more dedicated blogger!

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