Vacation is Upon Us

Vacation is Upon Us

In lieu of our next vacation to Cancun coming up in just a week, here are a few photos from our last few excursions:

Jamaican Morning – November 2005 Jamaican Sunset- November 2005

The Wynn Resort- Las Vegas, Jan 2006 Paris- Las Vegas- Jan 2006

Lake Superior- July 2006 High Falls, Tettagouche State Park

In Memory of Coni

On a very sad note, one of my dearest friends and bridesmaids, Dawn, lost one of her close friends recently. I didn’t really know Coni. I had met her on a couple of occasions where mutual friends of Dawn’s got together for a party or birthday. I always liked her, thought she was very sweet, and had always hoped for more opportunities to hang out. In December of 2005, Coni was diagnosed with adrenal cortical carcinoma- cancer of the adrenal gland. Adrenal cortical cancer is an extremely rare form of cancer affecting only about one in a millon people. Coni was 26 years old. After a very difficult 8 months, she peacefully passed away on July 20th- just a few short days after her 27th birthday.

I write about this mainly because I think this young lady is a brave, and amazing woman and everyone should know of her fight. She signed her journal entries on CaringBridge “Beating Cancer With a Smile”, and always had a positive attitude. I was so moved by the fact that she seemed to genuinely care more about others than herself- telling Dawn that while she wasn’t afraid of death, she was mostly worried about the people she was leaving behind. She had starting dating someone not too incredibly long before she was diagnosed, and he, too, appears to be another amazing person. He traveled with her for her treatments, stood by her side, proposed to her, and was there until the very last moment.

A day does not go by that I don’t think about Coni. Her story reminds me every day that I should tell my friends and family that I love them and that you just never know when you may not have the chance to say it again. Despite our current issues with getting pregnant, I am overall very healthy and do not take that for granted. I am reminded not to get upset about the little things. Most of all, I am reminded to live each day to the fullest and in Coni’s own words: Keep Smiling.

God Bless you Coni!

XM Vacation

We’ll start with this…

I may be the only person who has never heard this song, but when I did, I laughed my ass off. Not only was the song funny, but my husband knew EVERY WORD and even admitted owning the CD at one point in time. What’s my point? I LOVE XM RADIO!!!! Had I not come across channel 41 “The Boneyard” on XM I would’ve never heard of Green Jelly and had such a good laugh on my vacation. Last week, “Joe” and I took a vacation up to Minnesota’s North Shore. We stayed at a lakehome that was possibly nicer than our own house and had a fabulous time enjoying the cool lake air, hiking, and enjoying the various wildlife. On our way to most of this outdoor enjoyment XM was there in all its commercial-free glory. To put it bluntly, it has changed my life. I can always find something to listen to at one point or another. There is always a station to match my mood. My latest favorite? The 90’s. This morning I got to listen to Coolio, MC Hammer, and the Beastie Boys on my way to work. LOVE IT!!! Finally. No more falling asleep on my way to work. No more totally hating all rush hour traffic. I said it once, I’ll say it again: COMMERCIAL FREE!! There are one or two stations that appear to be testing the “dot com” commercials out. Pissed me off. I haven’t listed to those stations since. I still don’t look forward to my very long commute Monday through Friday, but at least, it has become tolerable.
I’ll post some pics soon! Meanwhile- here is come video of our little friend that we made during our trip:

Here’s a pic from our vacation home- there was a full moon over Lake Superior- it was awesome!

JoKo’s Mixed Bag of Movie Reviews: Week of July 3rd:

SUPERMAN RETURNS: I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! Girls. If you’re looking for a hot guy to watch for a couple hours, romance, suspense, and want to see a movie with your guy? This is a movie your guy is going to want to see. I don’t care much how it “compares” to the old 1978 Superman. I was two when that movie came out. I care that it represents the year 2006. I care that it entertained me to the point of laughing out loud, jumping, and cheering. I care that they made part of it in 3-D and I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Imax in that format. I care that my husband and I walked out of the theatre and talked non-stop about the movie for the 30 minute drive home from the Imax. I really took to Brandon Routh. Sure, he bears a striking resemblance to Christopher Reeve (as he probably should) but I really liked him. He’s indeed hot enough to stare at in spandex for 2.5 hours. I like Kate Bosworth as well. I’ve seen all her big hits: Blue Crush, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton… hehe. I did have some question as to whether she could pull off Lois Lane and she did. Is she a softer Lois? Yes. She’s had her heart broken by Superman, she had his kid, and now he’s back in her life. She lost her rough edge. I thought she did a great job. Poor James Marsden (Richard- Lois’s fiance). Is he ever going to play a role where he actually GETS the girl (i.e. The Notebook)???? LOVED Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey. I thought they were perfect villians- both cruel with an element of humor blended in. Okay. Need I say more? I loved it and had a great time seeing it, and you will too.

The Devil Wears Prada

Just call me Andrea Sachs, because THIS IS MY LIFE!!! I can’t decide whether or not I enjoyed the movie more than the book, so I’ll just say for arguments sake that they were both equally appealing. As an executive assistant myself, I can absolutely relate to the types of requests that Andy would get. For example, a string of rambling, all expected to be done in an amount of time that is simply inhuman, done perfectly and without question. My difference? I work for the nicest man on the planet and he would never speak to me in that kind of condescending, hurtful way. That is what makes this movie so incredibly juicy. Meryl Streep was absolutely fantastic. Never breaking out of character. Even in the moment you think that she is going to open up and relate to Andy, she doesn’t resorting right back to the rudeness that is Miranda Priestly. Anne Hathaway does an okay job as Andy. She’s believable, but a little annoying. I really loved the movie and the story overall. It gave a real, human spin on my own life and my own job. I even toasted along with the cast when they said “Here’s to jobs that pay the rent”. The one difference between the book and the movie- the ending. I wish they had stuck to the book ending where instead of simply walking away, Andy goes up to Miranda (after she requests getting her daughter’s passports re-isssued in less than 24 hours) and says “Go fuck yourself Miranda” and then walks away. I think that would’ve been a much better ending!!

I can relate to the requests to get someone home and on flights when all seems impossible. I can relate to getting stressed out and nervous when my boss is in town, fearing that I may do something wrong, knowing that his assistant before me did a piss poor job and that I have a lot of expectations to live up to. I think I’ve done a fine job of proving myself, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry that my one screw up will cost me my job. I, too, have this belief that starting on this bottom rung may actually lead me somewhere, someday. However, as in the movie, I have a feeling that my need for a strong family and personal life will win over everything else.

With that said. I will likely not be posting for a week or so. “Joe” and I are off to our vacation (and wedding gift from my new in-laws) for a week up in Two Harbors, MN.

A Disappointment

I’m sure you can already guess by the title of today’s 4th of July blog, that I’m not pregnant. This month was especially hard for me for some reason. I really wanted this to be the magic month for us! I think my message boards have made the wound a little more painful as well. I am so tired of hearing “Wow, I can’t believe it, our first month trying and a BFP!”. Did they bother to read the other posts? Did they happen to notice there are others on the boards that are having trouble getting pregnant? How hard it is for us to hear those kinds of things? I know they are just trying to share their excitement, but geesh. How about a little more sensitivity? I know I’m just being dramatic and hyper-sensitive because of my own heartbreak. I know someday we’ll have the opportunity. I know that. I just wish it would’ve been easier than this. I wish we didn’t have to go through all the hard stuff. I wish we were that lucky couple who was so incredibly fertile that we simply took one shot at it and it worked. I hate feeling as though there is something wrong. I don’t want to wait until next March to find out if there is. I wish doctors could be more sensitive.

So, for July 4th, we celebrated over the weekend with friends and family. For the most part, it was wonderful. Minimal drama for once. The hardest part came when we got together with our friends and their newborn baby. He is, in a word, precious. My heart just ached to have one of my own. I watched him smile and giggle at me. I watched my husband carry him around and talk to him. I knew that we had to have one. I knew that we wanted to be parents. I knew that we would be great parents.

We decided to take a month off from the baby craze. We’re going to Cancun in August. We’re going to enjoy life as much as possible!

Happy 4th of July. Proud to be an American!!!!!!!!

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Okay, so I may have told a fib in my last blog. Perhaps it was the mood of the day, perhaps it was raging hormones. Anyway. I decided I cannot give up my baby message forums. After visiting with them for the past month or so, I realized that I am truly invested in their lives and want to offer whatever support I can in lieu of my own experience. Do I often feel jealous of the pregnancy success of others? Heck yeah. The green-eyed monster comes out full force when someone announces their big fat positive (BFP). On the other hand- I’m happy for them. Many of them have had a much more difficult time than me and it is ignorant of me to feel so much hurt over their success. So, I’m taking it back. I’m going to continue visiting these community message boards and continue supporting the other women whose hopes and dreams are so similar to mine. I have girlfriends, but not a single one of them is even remotely in the same place as me in life, so I really don’t have a lot of places to go with my questions, my failures, and hopefully soon, my victory. So while it is hard to bury the monster, it feels much better to say a prayer and know that they are all there praying just as hard with me. Taking control of your health and your fertility does NOT make you crazy, it makes you smart. I will feel much more in control of my next pregnancy knowing what I know today.

Let me take a moment to dicuss today the two week wait (2WW). By far the point in the past 8 months during my monthly cycle that is the most frustrating and horrible. For me, I need insta-results. Unfortunately, that type of information is just not available where pregnancy is concerned. Instead, those of us TTC women out there will get this point and start taking measure of every last feeling and vibe in their bodies. For me, I am about 10 days past ovulations (10 dpo) and I swear I feel nauseous, dizzy, exhausted, my boobs not only hurt with a pain unheard of but they appear to have been getting bigger (if that’s even possible), and of course I swear my dog has a sixth sense about these things and has been trying to tell me something with her recent bout of incontinence. The picture here is what my baby would look like right now if I am. Of course… I told myself I felt all these things LAST month too. Thus… the torture of the 2WW. THIS is what will make a TTC woman crazy!! All I can do is sit back and pray until either aunt flo shows up for her monthly visit or, by miracle, we have actually grown a gift from God.

A special shout out to my friends at and (particularly the girls from the Baby Dust & Sticky Vibes Group Forum and March 2007 Group Forum). You are all amazing women and I’m so happy we are in this together. Thank you for your inspiration and guidance. God Bless You in this journey!

Full Bag of Rant

Since I appear to completely suck at writing a blog… I’ve decided I have a few excuses for why I don’t write more often:
1) I bore easily when projects seem to not be entertaining enough
2) A.D.D. keeps me from actually completing a full entry. When I try to go back to what I was writing about, I’ve already forgotten what it was I was trying to say
3) I feel like I’m pretty much just talking to myself which is boring
4) I have had writers blcok for 21 days
5) Feel like I am not as witty as my husband Joe Nobody and cannot compete for the better blog (he proudly actually has outside readers other than his direct friends and family)
6) Fear ridicule from other bloggers that I may not be good enough
7) Am insecure
8) Am not opinionated enough to be a blogger- could really give a shit about most everything

I’m sure I’ll think of more as I continue to rant about everything and nothing over the past 20 days.

TTC(Trying To Conceive): So me and Joe are still trying to have a fricken baby. I seriously have no idea what we’re doing wrong here. I’m under the impression that I am once again not pregnant this month. Maybe I’m pessimistic after 8 months of a near success but mostly failure. I, like my husband Joe, hate to fail and it is making me miserable. I’m tired of phantom symptoms- i.e. my boobs hurting like hell right now and the need to take a nap at any given moment of the day. I’m tired of charting, counting, checking mucus (gross), and peeing on a stick. I have yet to understand why it is so easy for some women to get knocked up (a co-worker of mine and his wife just had a baby a couple months ago and are pregnant again), and seemingly impossible for myself. So, as it stands right now, should I get yet another Big Fat Negative (or BFN as we call it in the community board world), I am simply going to go back to being ME, JoKo again. That means, not worrying about having a beer at any given time, not taking and charting my temperature every morning like a freak, and cutting myself off from these message boards whose true purpose is to provide support but only make me more frustrated, emotional, and jealous. While I’m sure I’ll be paying close attention to what my body is doing, I cannot go on living this way. I’m sure, when the time is right, we’ll be graciously blessed with a baby and I just need to have faith.

The Doctor’s Office: Okay, so it was time again for my annual exam with my OB/GYN. I won’t disgust anyone with the gory details, but I have some frustrations with going to see the doctor in general. Here’s my story: I had a 9:00am appointment with a new doctor. After sitting in the lobby for about oh, 10 minutes or so, a nurse came up to the receptionist and said “Dr. Hughes just showed- she is running an hour behind”. Are you fricken kidding me?? Knowing full well that there was likely another gal in front of me, I waited it out. Girl with appointment before me storms the reception desk after another 10 mintues and says this sucks and is leaving. Which is what I wish I had done. This obviously bumped me up in time, or so I thought. After a grand total of a 45 minute wait in the waiting room, I went in with the NP, took blood, pissed in a cup, and whatever torture she felt she needed to inflict on me. She then left me alone to disrobe and said (and I quote) “It really shouldn’t be long at all”. Uh. 40 additional minutes in a flimsy, cold gown is a fricken long time in my book. By the time my new doc walked in, I expected a “I’m so sorry for the wait”. Instead? She was sorta bitchy, did her thing, barely gave me the opportunity to ask questions and left. Uh. Do I wait? Are you going to send me my labs? Can I get my normal clothes back on? WTF? So, I got dressed and left. Whatever. Anyway, I guess my point is, besides being pissed about the wait, is: I believe that doctors- even though they make a gazillion dollars and are normally well respected- should still be “customer friendly”. Being fully-insured, I have options. Does she not want my money? Does she not care about my business? Apparantly not, since she felt it was just fine to show up an hour late with zero apologies to her patients. The room was a very small claustrophobic room. No locks on the door mind you (I don’t want just ANYONE walking in and seeing my EVERYTHING). Needless to say, it was a horrible experience. Not that annuals are ever fun, but uh, this really took the cake. I will NEVER go back to this place or this doctor.

Movie Reviews: “Joe” and I have been movie-goin’ fools lately!!

The Break Up: Okay, I didn’t torture Joe with this movie, although, being a Vince Vaughn fan, I think he would’ve actually enjoyed it. I thought the movie was good and I enjoyed it. The movie takes place in Chicago, Vince Vaughn plays a tour bus guide for his family-owned company, Jennifer Aniston some art seller. Within the first 20 minutes of the movie, I leaned over to my girlfriend and said- “I totally married this guy!!”. He leaves his dirty, nasty socks and underwear all over the house, he sits down with a beer instead of helping out with dinner and chores before guests arrive for dinner, he plays XBox all hours of the day and night… You get the picture. Before long, Jen’s character gets pissed and essentially they break up. Neither want to get rid of the condo that they bought together and for the most part try to make each other jealous and mad with all kinds of schemes and ploys. SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! In the end, to my surprise, they do not get back together. They move out of the condo and they go their separate ways. They broke up! Anyway- as I said, I liked it. I enjoy Vince Vaughn’s brand of humor and have always adored Jennifer Aniston as an actress. I’ll likely buy this one for my chick flick collection!

The DaVinci Code: Despite the very negative reviews this movie got, I really, really enjoyed it. After reading the book, I definitely wanted to see a visual representation of it. They followed the book to the letter!! No spoiler here- if you read the book you know exactly what happens. Tom Hanks didn’t bother me too much- I am a Hanks fan myself- however I do wish they had chosen someone a little more rugged & handsome. My utmost favorite of the film was of course Ian McKellin playing Teabing. He was, in a word, FANTASTIC. I loved the sites, the sounds and loved seeing this story played out on film- it was sort of like my imagination come to life (with a better looking Langdon of course). As far as the controversy… HUH? There is none. This is FICTION. It’s like dinosaurs getting pissed about Jurassic Park. Just stupid. Does it spark discussion? Absolutely. My opinion? Yes, the church would greatly be disrupted if it was true that Jesus did get married and have children. Would it be the end of Christianity? Who says that just because he was God that he couldn’t fall in love and have children? He was indeed, a man. Maybe then Catholic priests would be allowed to get married and maybe the church wouldn’t be facing the problems it has today. Again, my humble opinion. As a Catholic, I of course very passionately believe that Jesus died for my sins, rose again and on the 3rd day ascended into heaven. If he were indeed married, it would make me feel like he was just like me.

Cars: Okay, change of pace… I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! You just can’t go wrong with Pixar. Truthfully, if you’ve seen the movie Doc Hollywood, then you have already seen this. However, the animation was incredible, the characters loveable, and the one-liners absolutely priceless. It was so cute, and so fun. I’m not sure what it is, I find the cars with faces absolutely hysterical! Can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so we can add to our ever-growing Pixar collection!

Coming Soon to Movie Reviews: Superman, XMen 3, and The Devil Wears Prada.

Now that I have taken up a huge portion of my ever-boring day (which is another whole blog in and of itself), I will sign off.

TTC Insanity

What is it that makes perfectly happy, sane, content women like myself turn into raging baby making monsters? My husband “Joe” and I started trying to conceive (or TTC as we call it in the insanity of the message board community) on our wedding night (10/15/05) and have been trying ever since. As I had posted in the past, we were successful a couple months ago, and to our great disappointment and overwhelming grief, I miscarried. I still still think about the time often, and even though brief, an amazing and wonderful time for us. We were certainly “trying” in every sense of the word, but I wasn’t at the time this crazy person- tracking my BBT (Basal Body Temperature), CV (cervical mucus), and writing down every last feeling and notion that I have. We were just being… newlyweds. Some say that just being every day average newlyweds and not “trying” is what got us pregnant. I say it was correct timing and complete dumb luck. After going through such a tragedy, I decided that I want to be better prepared, I want to know when, I want to know why, I want to know what… Why? Less unanswered questions when things go wrong, and support to bring to my doctor when the time comes. It’s completely insane, but for some twisted reason makes me feel more comfortable and more cautious. We were unsuccessful at our attempt this last month. I contributed it to a number of other factors in our lives but most importantly: “Joe” took a new job that he actually has to wake his ass up for every morning and shockingly had less desire to do the BD (baby dance) with me. It’s not often he turns me down. Just bad planning. So, the plan for June: GET IT ON MORE OFTEN. It really is the only way!!

Thinking back, when we got pregnant last time, it was such a wonderful surprise and even a little shocking. We weren’t sure how we felt other than feeling like we had a lot to do. We then started talking about how to tell our family, our friends… We got excited. While I’m sure I’ll be excited when I get pregnant again, I’m sure there will be an enormous part of me that will be skeptical and pessimistic. What I have learned is that I now want a baby more than anything else. I know for real that I’m ready.

God- please if you are reading this now, and I’m sure you read blogs :), I hope you will bless us with a child.

Turning 30- Tragedy or Victory

Ahhhhhh yes. New Blog. New me.

It is official- I have now been alive for 3 decades. 30. I must say, while most have the tendancy to freak out over the fact that they feel old and weary at this age, feel as though they haven’t accomplished all they set out to do, or that it might even be to late for others. I am somewhat delighted about reaching this pinnacle. Firstly, it is slightly a miracle that I made it this long. After smoking, drinking, and god only knows what else for at least the last 15 years, you would think that I should perhaps be dead. I made it through the horror that was junior high, the even bigger torture of high school. I survived the loss of more friendships and boyfriends that I can count on my fingers and toes and somehow managed to not require antidepressants to get through it. I received my high school diploma, a college degree, moved at least 10 times in 10 years, changed jobs and careers 6 times in 10 years, survived being laid off and actually still managed to get my bills paid on time, met THE one, got engaged, married, and lost a baby. All this before turning the age of 30.

Needless to say, I am proud of all I have accomplished and excited for what the future holds. I have a great family, great friends, and great co-workers. I am lucky to have stuffed so much experience into what really is a relatively short amount of time. I feel as though now I can take a deep breath and finally relax. Sure, there are things I still desire- a master’s degree, a better job with better pay, a child, a grandchild…I can say with certainty for the first time in my life that there is no rush.

Since I’m an old lady now, thought I’d share a classic old lady clip:

American Idol Recap: Love Songs… or Something…

Oh sweet love songs!!! I really had much bigger hopes for tonights AI, but geesh. I have to admit I was fairly disappointed. Anyway, I’m afraid I don’t have as great of notes on tonight’s performances seeing as I worked late and barely made it home in time to give my husband and dog a hug and have dinner before those… opening theme bars began. Heh! They so need a new theme song. Tonight we were graced by the presence of Andrea Bocelli, by far, the most amazing singer in the universe. I am severely jealous of these Idols for having the opportunity to work with him, and if they don’t realize their good fortune- they really don’t deserve to be on this show and be singers.

Katharine: Or “Kat” as Ryan seems to like to call her. She sang “I Have Nothing”. I fear I have nothing after her performance. I’ve made it very clear that I love her. I think she’s naturally talented and hope she survives this week. I would’ve loved to hear a Katharine Bocelli duet!!! She was pitchy and the judges didn’t like her tonight. I guess in my opinion- if you do Whitney- you definitely do it better than anything that crack ho can do now!! I’m sure Ryan said something else to her after she sang, but I could’ve sworn he said “With the volume down and those boobs, I’m sure you’ll get lots of votes” as he stared at her chest…

He sang his signature Donny Hathaway song and was, pretty amazing. Too bad he can’t sing it yet another time in the competition. Dude- Paula Abdul- WTF????!!!!!

Kellie: If she doesn’t make the bottom 3, I’ll be stunned. That was by and far the worst version of “Unchained Melody” I have EVER heard in my life. She butchered, mamed and destroyed that incredibly beautiful song. Why, oh why does America vote for her? I don’t understand!!! I will stand by my vow: If she makes it to the final two- I will stop watching AI forever.

Paris: Singing “The Way We Were”. WOW WOW WOWO!!!!! She really is just awesome. I cannot believe she is 16. What praise from David Foster and Bocelli!!!! She’s one talented and amazing little lady.

Taylor: Sang James Ingram’s “Just Once”. Thank god just once. He wasn’t very good tonight. I’m sad and disappointed for him. Hope he makes it through. Simon really needs to find a better rip: a hotel lounge singer? Does he know that there aren’t any hotels other than Sandals in Jamaica that actually have lounge singers? Lame. Find a better insult.

Chris: Chris is BACK BACK BACK!!!! He was amazing tonight singing “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”. Fricken long name for a song, but YAY!!! He was so good.

On another note…

Yes it is true… in less than a week I’ll be celebrating the dreaded 30th birthday!!!