Sunday, August 15, 2010



after 4 days in hotlanta, visiting my sister, we made the stormy trek back to cincinnati thursday.  graham and i tried to watch the meteor shower when we got back, but it wasn't dark enough anywhere and then he got tired and fell asleep in the car.  sweet boy.  he starts middle school tomorrow, which breaks my heart a little - i'm not ready for him to get older like this yet.  :(

 friday was my shower/bachelorette party, which was a blast.  almost all of my homegirls were in attendance, gave me lovely things, fed me food and drinks all night.  we danced.  we chatted.  we made new friends.  it was pretty much as perfect as it could have been with the circumstances surrounding it and the folks who could not attend.  and i owe some BIG thank yous to the jens, karen and joanne, for picking up where others had left off and making a party happen [and jen s. for driving me around without even a drop of anything that wasn't just a diet - you're amazels, and you know this, but i just had to remind you of your awesomeness].  my ladies were amazing.  as soon as i get some photos, i will post them, as i was not entirely in a state to take any.  :D

saturday i recovered for a while, picked up my wedding band that was being resized at the jeweler [yay!!], then went to our friends' house to watch a sweet informative video we all made for the best man's impending wedding, so that was fun.  it was pretty hilarious.  they are getting married at red river gorge and making a weekend of it, so this was a fun way to let everyone know some of the rules and what to expect for the weekend.  tons of folks worked on it, and it turned out really cute.  it's too long a video to post, so just take my word for it.  ;)

this afternoon, after having lunch with mike's dad for his birthday, we went to send our well wishes to my friend constance and her brand-spankin' new husband joseph at their reception, which took place at mayday.  i'm a moron and forgot my camera, so i can't even post any pics of this lovely, low key, dancing-all-afternoon festivity, but i can tell you that it was exactly the kind of chill event i hope to see at my own party.  friends, family, food, dancing...  it was dreamy.  and muggy, as cincinnati will often be [especially this summer, for some reason - ugh].  in any case, a huuuuge congrats to connie + joe!!!

i also ended up having an impromtu photoshoot with the ever-talented scott beseler in the balmy upstairs of mayday.  thank god for that giant, industrial fan [it made me feel like i was in a bollywood movie, admittedly].  he was taking pictures of my birdleg™, to be used for an article that is going to be written for soapbox media, a local, urban-focused online 'zine., so be watching for this to come out.  i learned today that i am pretty camera shy, so i will have to warn our wedding photographer of this, i suppose... scott was pretty easy on me though.  :)

hope you all had a great weekend - aside from a few hiccups, mine was pretty righteous.  now to kick back, eat some pizza rolls and gear up for the week, which includes second cake tasting, marriage license procurement and a mess of DIY thingies.  sigh.  wish me luck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a little change'll do you good

so i changed up the blog a little...  not sure why, exactly, i just felt it needed a little facelift.  i'm also not sure how long it's staying, due to the ginormity of this e.j. bellocq storyville gem, but i really liked her - she seemed relaxed/intoxicated and is in some killer tights, so, for now she stays.

today mike and i had brunch with some lovely friends at their lovely home in the burb where i work.  mimosas and homemade strata and coffee cake, and it was quite a good reason to visit madeira, unlike most other times i might be there.  it will be a while until i am back, however, as last night was my official last shift, and i am now on medical leave for the healing of the foot.  anyway, i digress, we'll talk about that shortly.  after our lovely brunch, we decided to do some big day errand running, and we got some major things crossed off the list.  namely the invitation.  as a gal with a background in print, i had a really huge block when it came to designing our own invite.  i was having nightmares and cold sweats, and i kept seeing things that would make me change my design, then i'd change it back, then, oh look!...  sigh.  we accidentally selected a lovely one from a book and ordered them up today, and i couldn't be more relieved.  they are just the cutest, and it takes a huge weight off my shoulders just knowing that this is one more thing i don't have to mess with.  we are customizing slightly, however - i'm hoping to shun the boring ivory envelopes provided with a stack of sweet colorful stunners that i picked up at poeme last week for a song while mike was away in denver at the conference.  the only thing i have to do now is address the envelopes while we wait for them to arrive, and that makes me feel really great.  i also got mah shoes recently  :)

yes.  they are bright pink.  magenta, even.  and shiny.  now, for those who know me realllly well, you are probably wondering to yourselves if i've officially lost it or not.  fret not, i haven't.  they are just terribly cute [and comfy too!] in person, which is really important for a bride-to-be with a foot injury.  i also found my 'something blue' last week, in the way of a sweet costume ring that is terribly big and awesome and sparkly that i nabbed at toku baru, as well as a cute makeup bag with deer and burning trees on it [my reward for cleaning out the medicine cabinet and scaling back on the makeup drawer while mike was away].  so, shoes and 'something blue' are marked off the list, dress is at the tailor, invites are ordered, cake tasting round II is being scheduled tomorrow [after my dentist appointment - my teeth will be fixed tomorrow!  no more snaggletooth!]...  i have to gather up the addys for the invites and make a save the date for the open reception.  i'm thinking these two things should happen soon.  we also need to get our bands and find out how to acquire this whole marriage license thing, i guess.  :D  one day at a time.  thankfully, i have more days free to do this stuff now while i sit on my rear and let my foot heal before my doctors appt in august.  because no one wants to have foot surgery right after they get married.

hope y'all had a great weekend!  check back often, because now that i'm on medical sabbatical, i'll be posting up a storm!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

in the wee small hours of the morning...

as i begin this, allow me to say that it's currently 4:54am, and i'm sitting outside my place of employment using my babybook™ and starbucks free wireless.  i closed last night, therefore, i'm pulling a what i lovingly refer to as a clopen [close, then open].  i was just here like 4ish hours ago.  one of my coworkers called late in my close shift very ill, and thinking that i was going to be up all night anyway, i took the shift.  why was i going to be up all night, you ask?  well, mike had a red-eye to denver this morning.  i was going to drive him to the airport so he wouldn't have to park, but after a lengthy discussion, the realization that his parking would be reimbursed, and my decision to take this shorty open, he drove himself.  so also as i type this, he should be safely arriving in dayton for his 6:30 flight.  sigh.  another financial aid conference, another 4 days without seeing his handsomeness.  i decidedly hate financial aid conferences.  they steal my love much more than i need them to.  be prepared for some grumpy few days, if you happen to cross my path, i suppose - i'll try to be my usual sweet, but it's hard to smile when mike's away. 

so...  wedding stuff.  i'm sure you're curious, since it's been a coons age since i've blogged.  work schedules and soreness are to blame for my absence, so please accept my sincere apologies.  currently my dress is at the tailor, shoes have been purchased, invites are in the works, flowers are being negotiated, and we've still not found a suit for the wee graham.  mike's got his though, so we're set there.  recently, we discovered that we can now have our little shindig at the NEW sign museum spot, which is very exciting, as it's much more accomodating for these things.  the older space is set up a little oddly, so it's a big sigh of relief that we can have it in the new space.  we took megan, the coffee lass, over there to see about setting up, and she was probably just as excited about it as we were.  she just kept saying, "the pictures are going to be amazing...."  i can't wait, seriously.  our families will even maybe forget that we're not doing the church thing once they get in there and see just how cool it is.  maybe.  ;)  right now the focus is the invite, since we're officially only 2 months out.  2 months!!  i can't believe it's so close.  i know these 2 months are gonna fly right by, i just know it.  i am beside myself with excitement, i just want it to get here, honestly.  as much fun as wedding planning seems, it's a lot of work, with a metric ton of decisions, things to consider that you never thought you'd have to consider...  ugh.  i'm just really looking forward to it all being over and just being mrs. mike and having some peace and quiet in my life.  :)

well, it's just about time to make the donuts.  looking forward to an iced coffee or two, a [hopefully] quick morning so i can go home and sleep, finally, and wednesday, because that's when mike flies home.  i'm really, really looking forward to that. 

have a great sunday, everyone!  and i promise it won't be so long next time.  :D

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

remembering jesus

so, as you may already know, i live in the magical, muggy ohio valley city known as cincinnati.  about 30 miles north of here, in monroe, ohio, a neon megachurch erected a GIANT 62-ft statue of [half of] jesus emerging from a pond in the middle of a field, directly on the side of I-75 in 2004.  it had [rightfully] earned several nicknames since then, my favorite two being  butter jesus [for the statue's weird buttery color] and touchdown jesus [for the 'touchdown' pose his arms made], though it's technical name was 'king of kings' or something of this nature.  it looked like this:

and there he is, in all his glory, complete with a cross and what i only imagined to be the ten commandments-type 'tablet' or something in his mostly submerged lap.  the structure you see in the background is the weird neon megachurch.  neon because, well, at night, it's lit by neon, like all good megachurches should be... er...  not really.  there were MANY jokes about this statue around these parts, and across the country, just google one of his two nicknames to find some.  anyway, we had a wicked storm tonight, sending most of the tri-state to their basements, complete with tornado touchdowns [pardon that pun] and severe thunder, lightning and loads of rain.  apparently, it wasn't the best idea to put a fiberglass statue in front of a pond in the middle of a mostly-open field, however, because jesus totally got hit by lightning, caught fire, and completely burned [or melted, if you were one to call him butter] to the ground, leaving just his inner structure.  here is what butter-turned-toothpick jesus now looks like after tonight's storm:

 photo credit:  vincent rush

robot toothpick jesus and neon.  crazy.  i guess God was serious about that 'false idols' thing, eh? 

RIP, touchdown jesus.  i will miss all the jokes that cincinnatians made about you.  i will be glad to not see you along the highway when i take road trips, however, but i will still yell "touchdown!" as i pass, like i always do.  and megachurch?  take it as a sign.  real jesus did not like your butter jesus, which is why he smote it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

two saturday nights in a row?!

working for the corporate retail giant that i do, some of you may already know that i hardly ever get a saturday night off, let alone two consecutive ones.  it's really unheard of.  but its true, i just got home from work, and i'm off by 5 next saturday.  unreal.  good timing too, as next weekend, mike and i celebrate 3 amazing years together!  it's somewhat hard to believe that we've been together 3 years.  on one hand, it often seems like we just started dating.  on the other, it feels like we've known each other our whole lives.  i think these are both good things, a nice balance.  in any case, the 3 actual years together have been some of the best of my life, even with all the craziness that's happened outside of our relationship in my life.  i am quite thankful for him, and i am looking forward to celebrating many, many, many more anniversaries with this particular fella.  he makes me a better person, and he makes me want to be a better person.  i'm a terribly lucky gal.

i had a great conversation this morning with my dear friend, karen, and she reminded me that i haven't given the update on foot status on here yet, so my apologies, dear readers.  i've been a little skattery lately, in addition to working too much.  so, to kill whatever lingering suspense is out there, here is the scoop.  primary doctor called foot/ankle specialist fella to clarify this weird diagnosis.  he then called me to give me said clarification.  i have tendon damage, a bone out of place due to tendon damage, and significant arthritis.  i will likely be getting not-so-foxy arizona brace at some point this week, which i will have to wear for 3 solid months.  after 3 months, if things are not repaired as they should be, i will likely have to have fairly extensive foot/ankle repair surgery.  now, if you are paying attention, this puts us quite close to impending wedding day thing.  so the plan is to wear the dumb brace thing, go back in 3 months, and if they say i need surgery, mike and i get married, go on super fun honeymoon, and then i will have surgery after that.  we're all hoping, however, that dumb brace thing will do what it's supposed to and my body does what it's supposed to and then everything will be cool and the gang and i won't have to go under the knife for the 15th time.  because that's just way too many times to go under the knife.  i'm trying not to look too far ahead, however.  day by day, and we'll just see.  as of the moment, all the rain we've been getting which causes the wonder that is cincinnati humidity is making the day to day quite painful for me.  i'm at work.  i'm usually laying in bed awake for hours in the morning waiting for the pain to mellow enough.  it's not a fun place right now.  none of my docs seem to know if i'm going to be able to work with this brace thing yet, so it's a 'wait and see' game.  we'll find out this week, i guess.  if not, i'm going to be out of work for 3 long months, which would really suck.  let's hope this doesn't happen either, eh?  otherwise, i'm going to be calling people too much and pathetically asking, "so, what'cha doin'?", and nobody wants that, including me.  i try to have standards.  :)

so there's the skinny for all of you who were waiting for me to get my act together.  as soon as i get the stupid brace thing, i promise to take a photo of it and show you just how awful modern healing orthotic devices can be.  in the interim, mike and i are gonna go grab some dinner and hit the town for a little socialization this evening, in what might be my last weekend without the brace for the summer.  boo.  hope you're getting into something fun this weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

hello cheesy!

so, when you sign onto wedding-organizational-type sites, they do this horrible thing where they tell you how many days until you get married.  today it told me that i have 108 days.  hence my internet quietness.  we had to get our butts in gear a little, so my apologies for absense.  i'm back.  i get a little stressed with tickers reminding me of impending deadlines...

we've been getting a lot of the smaller, more tedious things taken care of.  we have a finalized guest list for our extremely tiny ceremony, which led us to start a cheesy website up for details about the reception and other self-absorbed things [although it's pretty cute in design, as it's a whimsical depictation of SF, which is where we want to go for our honeymoon, done by the design mavens/sisters at hello lucky!].  although the wedding website thing might be a little cheese, it is completely justified to me, based on a few things, such as RSVPs without paper, tracking RSVPs, this sort of thing.  i digress.  we have registries.  we've also finalized the mental idea of our invite for our families, nailed down some cute decorating ideas, found a bartender for the ceremony, 2 djs for the reception, a band, that sort of thing.  we still have to send out some checks.  sigh.  all in due time. 

in the interim, all of your questions and curiosities can be answered right here.

hello, cheesy website.  :)

we got our website at, as it was free and not completely aesthetically lame.  
we suggest you do the same.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LOST and a broken heart

so i'm a LOST junkie.  it's true.  i tried watching it a few years ago, and got really bored with 'the hatch' dragging on for as long as it did, so i stopped.  then mike and i started from the beginning through the beauty of the roku [we love you, roku!], and it was o.v.e.r.  we were like fiends, ripping through seasons in mere days, anxiously awaiting the next season to come out on netflix ["wait, i have to wait 2 whole weeks??!!  nooooo!"].  it was bad.  tonight was the last episode before the multi-hour sunday final event, and i'm scrambling to find someone to cover me at work so i can be home to watch it.  it's a sickness, i tell ya.  and i'm not even really a t.v. person, but it's just that good.  keep your fingers crossed that someone in the starbucks corporation understands my need to be home sunday night.

so last thursday on facebook, i had a status update in which i said, "jill *****'s heart is broken", having not thought ahead of what people might assume.  it just was.  no, mike did not do anything to hurt me.  i recieved an onslaught of love and support from friends, which was amazing.  i really do have the best friends a girl could only wish for.  the cool part of this is that it's my reality, so that is very rad.  i will now share with you, my beloved readers, why my heart was broken.  some of you already know this.  for the rest of you, it's like so...  [be warned, this might be a long one]

as many of you know, i did the reggae run last october, after i got the new leg.  it was rather important to do this particular 5k, as it is done in memory of maria olberding, who was actually mike's cousin.  she was brutally murdered by some looney kid from kentucky while running her usual route through ault park.  he's still locked up.  she loved reggae music and running, thus the bird of the memorial run.  it's a massive event, and pretty much every relative mike has is in town for it.  ault park being as hilly as it is, this is not an easy run, even for skilled runners, and since i've never acutally ran and i'd never done a 5k, i decided to walk it.  mike, my mom and my brother walked it with me, but mike stayed at my side the whole time because he's awesome like that.  i finished it in 1 hour 7 minutes, which may seem like a long time to some of you, but don't forget that i'm on one wheel, so i was quite proud of my time.  i ate what seemed like an entire animal's worth of meat things after, then we had a few beers and enjoyed the reggae band with some of mike's family members.  it was great.  once we got home and i took off my shoes, however, i had this extraordinary pain in my legs.  i could barely walk and i was in tears. 

i made an appointment with my primary, and he sent me for xrays, and decided that i had a stress fracture.  i did the things he told me to do:  elevate, ice, rest, compression, etc.  this went on for a few weeks, but my pain never let up.  he sent me to see an orthopaedist.  orthopaediest sent me for an MRI.  the MRI showed two torn ligaments, so i was put on sabbatical at work for 6 weeks while i donned a rather unsexy boot thing that took a one-legged gal like myself a little while to get used to, since no part of my body was actually touching the ground anymore.  6 weeks later, i went back to work, and it was like i never was off at all because it still hurt.  i just dealt with it for a while, and finally got so tired of the pain, i went back to primary doc and asked for a second opinion.  he sent me to foot and ankle specialist fella. 

after 3 weeks of painful waiting, i went to see him on thursday.  he took new xrays, and he delivered a heavy hand of bad, bad news.  now before i get into the bad news, i have to preempt with 2 things:  [1] my worst case scenario was that they were going to tell me that i was going to have to have surgery to repair the 2 torn ligaments, and i've already been under the knife more times than most of you have had, combined, and [2] mike was out of town at a financial aid conference in newark, ohio, which is apparently the armpit of ohio.  in any case, he was not here.  now for the bad news.  foot and ankle specialist fella came in with one film from the fresh round of xrays and said, "well, it's certainly not a twisted ankle..." as he put the film onto the lightbox and flipped on the switch.  he then points to two bones and begins to tell me that they are deformed, either from overuse after 32 years OR [and this really messed me up] it could be related to my other birth defect, meaning it was just always like that, since the day i was born.  say what??  now, this was sort of the equivalent of him telling me that i was adopted or something.  pretty heavy stuff.  and i was then in shock, as he continued, telling me that i would need to wear an 'arizona brace' for 3 whole months, and at some point in my life, the pain might get so intense that i would consider foot surgery to fuse all the bones in my foot together, leaving me footless.  wth.  i floated out of the room, fighting back tears.  as i made my follow up appointment, i texted mike to see if he could dip out of the conference, and started to feel tears streaming down my face.  i fled the office, booked it to my car and broke down crying as i answered mike's call.  i sobbed through the whole conversation, drove myself to work, collected myself, clocked in, worked the shift, then went to karaoke, where i did not sing, i just drank.  worst news ever.  even worse than ligament surgery, and that's bad.

today, i called my primary, explaining what i was told.  he was going to call the foot and ankle dude and convo about it, then call me back tomorrow to discuss.  at this point, i have no idea what's happening.  i know that my not-sexy arizona brace is being priced out for the making, but that's it so far, so i am hoping to know more tomorrow.  i am also hoping for a 4th opinion, that 4th dude will agree with 1 of the 3 diagnoses i've been given, and that this pain will go away soon, because i can't really take it much longer.  it's made me grumpy and distracted.  i don't like either of those.  i need answers.

so there you have it, kids.  the source of my broken heart.  and foot.  or not.  to be continued...