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Mar 30, 2016

Presidential Debate: I am a Centrist


If we were playing Never Have I Ever on the blog, I would say I have never spoken about politics.

Until today.

I don't know if it's my age or current financial status or life experience that has sparked my interests, but I finally started to delve into the details of our upcoming election to figure out what is important to me.

The current Presidential debate has sparked a ton of backlash and anger.
I see a lot of name-calling, mud-slinging, fighting, protesting and screaming from the masses.

But do these people really have an all-inclusive view of each politician's position?
There is clearly an entire generation of angry young adults, willing to fight with their fists to make a point.

Do the masses tend to go with the majority rules for fear of being different?
Do you vote one way or another because that is how you were raised?
Are you completely left or right winged, or do you fall somewhere in the middle?

This is going to sound shocking, but I tend to keep my opinions to myself unless I fully understand a topic. This means seeing both sides and forming an opinion.
Anyone else?

I decided to familiarize myself with political issues by taking a quiz, duh.

I ended up using two websites, votesmart.org and isidewith.com

I liked Vote Smart for it's graphics and high-level questions.
As I went along each topic, the graphics would push a candidate to the forefront based on my similarities.

My results?

They weren't necessarily shocking, but were a bit confusing.

I am aligned 64% with a Libertarian named Gary Johnson.

This is the confusing part...tied for second?

60% similarities to both Bernie Sanders (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican)

I will be honest that I had not heard of Gary until I started taking this quiz.
The media shoves Donald and Hillary down our throats most of the time.

And the never-ending Facebook rants are super fun too.



Unfortunately, the site didn't delve into too many questions, so after receiving my results, I hopped to isidewith.com.

I'm not going to lie, there are a million questions on this quiz, but I liked it for it's complete range of issues and multiple choice answers. Most questions were more than yes or no, and you could also rate each question with how important it was to you.

It took me roughly 15 minutes to complete and these were my results.

I am a Centrist.
Again, I had no idea that was even a word.
But take it for what it's worth, I fall smack dab in the middle of most political candidates.

I didn't need a quiz to tell me I never agreed with being wholly Democratic or Republican.
I am for some opinions and against others on both sides.

In the end? Iside gave me a slight advantage in similarities to Bernie Sanders.
I rated 75% with him.

A close second at 74% was Hillary.
Followed by 72% for Jill Stein (whoever that is.)
And finally, good ole' Gary Johnson again at 70%.

But it went on to provide more information.

Regarding social and immigration issues, I side mostly with Hillary.
Regarding healthcare, electoral, and domestic policies, I side mostly with Ted Cruz.
Regarding education and criminal issues, I side mostly with Donald Trump.
Only in environmental issues do I side with Bernie Sanders, even though he is supposedly my #1.
And finally, regarding foreign policies, I side with Gary Johnson.

Then the website provides a range, from warm to cool, regarding what areas of the U.S. share my opinions.
These areas with my similarities include parts of Wisconsin, Missouri, California, Florida, Vermont, and New York.

So who am I voting for?
Currently, I am leaning towards Hillary if I go Democrat and Trump if I go Republican.
*I am fully aware even mentioning the name Trump causes people to lose their ever-loving minds. Just chill folks. I have plenty of reasons for my decisions. #doyouboo

I should also note that this is the first time ever I am actually considering voting Republican.
Again, it might be that whole age thing, or maybe society has hardened me a bit.

As I am clearly divided on the candidates, I will try to weed through all the nonsense in the upcoming months and see how each candidate conducts themselves.

Each candidate has their own pros and cons, and the best part of all this is my family has historically been Democratic, whereas my husband's is mostly Republican.

I guess it only seems fitting that I am divided.

Maybe the old guy will win my heart.
I mean, Mark is older than me. I tend to go for that weathered look. ;)

But who knows, I may vote for Hillary and go Girl Power! on this country.

Or maybe I'll get crazy and vote for a non-politician...at the very least Trump is funding his own campaign and isn't being told what to say through an ear-piece.

Feeling ballsy? Tell me who you are voting for and why.
I will pass zero judgement if you stick to the facts and the issues.
(If it gets ugly, I will shut the whole thing down. Play nice people.)

Looking to be more passive?
Take the quiz and learn what issues matter most to you.
The results may surprise you.

Thanks for reading and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Mar 25, 2016

I'm Feeling Good


After our PGD set-up completed last week, I quickly realized this would be my last week free of any hormones, shots, doctor's visits, unwanted pokes or prods (outside of Mark, ahem), drugs.....basically anything that could end up making me feel like shit.

This was my last free week to workout as hard as I wanted, so I hit the gym every day.
This was my last week free of a doctor telling me not to over-indulge, so over-indulge I did.
This was my last week of waking up feeling as good as I possibly could, no sickness, no debilitating hormones, no second life growing inside making me pee every hour.

Last week before any surgeries, daily shots, weekly monitoring.
Last week to be exactly how I am.
Last week of being as selfish as I want, to do what I want, when I want, as I pleased.

Because next week?
Next week I start off with an ultrasound, bloodwork, and get put back on birth control.

The same birth control I couldn't wait to go off and get pregnant.
The same birth control that would make me down right crazy.
The same birth control that should keep me from getting pregnant, will now help to aid in a successful one.

Weird, right?

The reason to go on birth control prior to starting stimulation meds that will ramp up egg production, is to quiet my hormones, postpone ovulation, and clear away any developing cysts that can occur during a normal cycle.

I stay on birth control for about three weeks, overlapping the last week with an injection protocol, and quickly transferring to daily stimulation injections to begin growing some juicy follicles (aka eggs) that will be retrieved when ready.

But today?
Today I feel awesome. I couldn't have asked for a smoother transition into all of this chaos.
I'm taking everything one day at a time, scheduling what needs to be scheduled each week, not thinking too much about the future.

This is my last week.
After this? I am literally giving my time, money, sanity...all of me....to bring another life into this world.

This will be our biggest accomplishment to date.
It is sure to test us in ways I could never anticipate.

I know I am strong, and am sure it will be proven as I recover from surgery, and take my daily injections, and quiet my crazy hormones, and deal with night sweats and frustration and joy and everything else that is guaranteed to come along the way.

I feel ready.
I never knew the last four years would ultimately be preparing me for this.
All the struggle, all the heart ache, all the frustration.....making us stronger to take on these challenges.

I am planning to have another kick ass weekend!
I hope you are too!
Take care, and thanks for reading.

Mar 23, 2016

DIY: Hanging a Nautical Ceiling Light


I had a political post scheduled for today, but since I'm not in the mood for drama and arguments, instead I wanted to show you a little DIY project I completed over the weekend!

I had been looking for some sort of ceiling light to go in our guest room that didn't require hard-wiring or cost a fortune.

My house is nearly 100 years old, and most rooms don't have any sort of ceiling lights.
We use a lot of lamps, but with the ceilings in this space being nearly 14 feet tall, lamps just were not cutting it.

My design inspiration for the home ranges from simple-nautical to modern-Miami.
Basically I just want to live in a swanky resort on the ocean!

I found this Rope Swag Kit from World Market, loved the look (and the price!), and bought two.


Inside the box, you will find the swag, which is about 14 feet long, and two options for ceiling hooks: super intimidating and super weeny.

I ended up going to Home Depot and buying Everbuilt hooks that were in-between both of these options. You need two per swag, so four total.


You will also need bulbs (max 60 watt). I went with two Edison style bulbs because I had some lying around from another project.

Both rope swags will need to be plugged in, and I have a pet peeve with having to walk around and switch on all my lights.

Our guest room has a switch that is wired to the right side of the dual outlet in the room (don't ask) so I used an outlet splitter to plug both ropes into one outlet.

You can also achieve this by plugging in an extension cord with multiple outlet holes and attaching a remote switch to it.


I used an electrical drill with a bit about the size of the thickness of the hook. I drilled two holes about an inch apart in the ceiling.

Our plaster ceilings are roughly 3 inches thick.
I wasn't overly concerned about finding a stud, but if you have standard drywall ceilings, go ahead and find yourself a stud (but back away from my husband! Hardy-har)



After the holes are drilled, screw your hooks into the ceiling.


Each rope swag comes with two little metal loops. Find them and loop one of each through the hook.
Or you can just loop the rope through the hook, but, as you'll find later, you'll need to play with the lengths a bit to style them to your liking, and the loops make it easier to manipulate.

Drill two additional holes and screw in the hooks at the center point of where you want the swag to hang from.

I decided to let the swag between the two points vary between each rope, and with a bit of styling and knot tying, I ended up with this!


It took a bit of muscle to get the bulbs to hang straight.
I wrapped the rope around itself between the outlet and the first hook, then let the swag hang at different levels.
The knot is a variation of a square knot....tied very loosely.

Here is the finished room:


I love the way it turned out! I hope you do too!
Happy Wednesday!
Make sure to check out Instagram (@tgendooza) for a fun little Easter "Hoppy Hour" Giveaway!

Mar 18, 2016

PGD Set-up Update



As of St. Patrick's Day, we were about five weeks through the expected six week wait for our PGD set-up.
Each day that passes, I will cross off the day prior...knowing we are one day closer to completing this first phase and moving to the next.

I had originally planned to e-mail our genetic counselor Monday to do a quick check-in because, you see, my cycles are rather consistent and I knew I would be starting a new one around the 26th.

This would technically line up perfectly for the PGD probe to be completed, get the green light, and start my month of birth control to quiet my hormones and complete some preliminary monitoring in the process.

But of course I couldn't wait, so I emailed Dina yesterday....just a quick "hey, just an FYI...I get my period next Saturday, so if you could wrap up this set-up before that time, so I can move forward without interruption....that would be GRREEEAAAATTTT."

She writes back to say she has informed the team of my timeline and will give me an update shortly.

About an hour later, I'm in the bathroom...with my phone, of course (I know it's gross, but when the hell else am I supposed to scroll IG at work?!) and I see the e-mail icon pop-up.

I pull the icon down slightly to read the e-mail title, "Case Update: Gendusa"

I close my phone immediately and said a little prayer....please let this be good news.

And it was!! 
Dina wrote that our set-up was complete and we could move forward with our local IVF team.

I immediately said YES! too loud, and pumped both fists to the air....(still on the toilet, mind you).

In a flurry of excited activity, I called Mark to tell him the good news and emailed our nurse.
And also breathed a sigh of relief.
Even though this is by far the easiest step in the whole game, it was still a bigger part, and most certainly the longest of all the waiting I will have to do in the coming year.

I am now waiting for the nurse to send me an updated protocol and timeline.
More updates to come folks!!
Thanks for sticking around and Happy Friday!

Mar 16, 2016

Grace Not Perfection


It's inevitable.
We all age.
We all try to age gracefully....some do it better than others.

(Spoiler alert) We are all going to end up looking like shriveled up raisins.

Genetics are a huge factor, no doubt.
Your skincare routine and line of work are contributing factors as well.
There are a million products to buy and hacks to try to keep your fountain of youth running strong.

But, I will leave it to the beauty professionals to help you decide which expensive skincare cream to use to fix your face.

Today I'm talking about life, darling.

Could you be missing out on life because you spend your time worrying about your looks?

Every woman, at some point in their life, goes through the dreaded....

I'M FAT/I'M UGLY/NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME phase.

For me, that would have been my early 20's.

I clearly remember the days of counting my calories, trying to figure out ways I could still have a thousand drinks with 0 sugar/carbs/calories, exercising until I could pass out, and crying in the changing room stalls.

My life and my happiness revolved around the size of my jeans.
It revolved around perfect hair, and perfect make-up and the ever elusive perfect body.

I would get upset that my boobs weren't big enough, or my stomach wasn't flat enough, or my thighs were to dimply and (gasp!) touched each other, or my eye circles were too dark, or my hair was too thin.

I was so so obsessed with this ideal plastered all over magazines and advertisements and commercials, that we as women had to be these trophies of desire in order to land the right man and succeed in this world.

Heaven forbid we use our brains.
Brains aren't sexy, right?

At my darkest moment, I finally realized that this obsession was taking over my life.
It controlled my happiness, my mood, my relationship with my boyfriend (now husband).

I would let life pass me by because I didn't want to look fat in photos.
I would cancel dinner plans because I didn't know what the menu would be or how many calories I would consume.
I would stay indoors if my pants felt snug.

And the list went on and on....

I did eventually grow out of that phase of life, to focus more on what really matters.

Being happy.

Over the last ten years, I have loosened the reins on perfection to instead embrace "my best."

I let my hair dry naturally wavy.
My make-up routine and skincare are far more simple these days to show off who I am.
(not that there isn't a time and place for smoky eyes and red lips! I love those days too!)

I thank my husband for that one.
Ladies, if you ever meet a man that tells you you are gorgeous without make-up, believe them and never let them go.

I workout to the best of my ability, but gone are the days of spending hours at the gym.
I do my best to live an active lifestyle, which is far better cardio than stomping a treadmill.

I laugh a lot.
Mostly at myself, for my clumsy ways and childish humor.

And of course, laughing causes wrinkles.
So does worrying and loving another.
It also brings gray hair.
Adventures can bring cuts and scrapes and scars.
Aging makes your skin sag, and your butt flatten out, and your balls hit the toilet water. :)

It's called GRAVITY...aka the great equalizer.

Life is not perfect and we should never strive to make it that way.
It is an exhausting waste of time left only to people with a petty mindset.

You will feel fat some days, and ugly others, and carry a range of emotions depending on your season of life.

But as we age, we gain the wisdom to soften our edges to those silly arguments and obsessions and strives for perfection.

We calm the rage and anger and instant gratification.
We embrace the here and now.
We open our eyes to the beauty around us, be it sunshine or surrounded by loved ones, or success and triumph and failure.

Even in death, there is beauty.

It's a beauty that makes us realize life is so short....most of us have completed 25-50% of our entire lives already, and I for one will not waste another minute of it over something petty.

I will not worry when I sit down and my stomach folds over itself.
I will not fret when I am on Day 3 of unwashed, dry-shampooed hair.
I will not fear venturing into public without make-up (heaven forbid!)
I will turn a blind eye to the never ending cycle of dog hair accumulation in my home, or the unfolded laundry in the dryer (I'll just toss it...again), or the pile of dirty dishes in my sink.

I will stop comparing.

I will not fall envious to those with better clothes, or a better house, or a better lifestyle.

I don't know what those people are going through.
Maybe it's their clothes, or home, or supposed better lifestyle that is getting them through something terrible.

I will soften my edges to negativity.
Look at the big picture and forgo the details, sometimes.

And laugh.
A big belly laugh that creases my eyes and makes me cry.

And smile to often and hug too long and cheers too often and take too many pictures.

Here's to aging, my friends.
Thank you for reading.

Mar 11, 2016

Kicking Dicks

Let's end this week on a much less serious and SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS approach, shall we?


Amy wrote on the topic of busyness and included a fun little phrase called kicking dicks.
I snorted with laughter so of course I had to write about it.

Urban Dictionary, which is the means and end to all important topics in life, defines kicking dicks as the art of doing nothing.

If used in a phrase, one might say,
"Noxema isn't doing any work, she's just sitting there kicking dicks."

These days it seems people think it's the coolest to be super swamped.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard people complaining, better yet BRAGGING, about how busy they are. Like if we aren't bogged down with a to-do list we are not important.

Why this is a thing is beyond me.

Just like everyone else in this world with goals and aspirations, I too have a million things I strive to accomplish.

The wrench in my grand plan to take over the world....I am a professional procrastinator.

I love nothing more than to strike while the iron is hot in a mess of creativity and stress to complete something, be it personal or professional, but the Hell if it isn't at the 11th hour.

Remember when I had a few weeks between jobs last year and I knocked out like 300 projects?
I am pretty sure what I accomplished in those weeks was more than most people do in a year!

But, I also sat on my ass a lot.
Because I NEEDED to.
I was spent.

Just a girl over in my corner, kicking dicks.

I don't know if it's my ADD, the seasons, the way I'm wired, or what...but I cannot for the life of me do something of any importance unless it comes together literally at the last minute.

I am better at knocking down my to-do list during the latter half of whatever the time frame is.
Which might be the complete opposite for most people.

But, truth be told, it's not like the project I need to do is out of sight, out of mind.
I am constantly thinking about solutions, ideas, and alternatives for whatever it is whilst the dick kicking commences.

I need all my pawns in place before I can make a big move and crush the other player.

It's feverish, really.

When I was re-designing our lobby (which is now what I'm calling our entryway sitting room...because BOO to the stuffy term of a sitting room...it's now a LOBBY...we fancy like that),
I knew it would be go big or go home.

I am no good at progressive decorating.
You know....putting in a light here, adding a tchotchke there...later adding a rug or side table.
No.
All at once or nothing at all.
I like to get everything lined up, then attack that room like it's do or die.

I knew I wanted something seamless, peaceful, and tropical...that flowed easily and was relatively neutral.

So I would walk into the space, look at the room from different angles, rub my chin, and walk away.

For days.

In and out, during different times of day, in different lighting and and viewed at different angles...until finally, I could see the space for what it should be.

Call me crazy.
My methods are not normal by any means.

Could you imagine being my husband, and we're watching TV, and I randomly get up in the middle of the show to go look at a room again because I may have a twinge of inspiration or random thought?

Yea...welcome to the Thunder Dome, people.
Mark is so blessed.

I try not to take too much inspiration from the droves of basic design in the world these days.
Everybody's shit is the same and it's maddening...with their burlap and chalk boards and perfectly placed trays filled to the brim with garbage.

I will not conform to the popular belief that a house is only beautiful if it's slapped together with rustic pieces and shiplap and every corner is filled with multiple, stacked objects competing for your attention. #fixerupper (even though I will watch that show every damn time it's on)

Sigh....ANYWAYS.

I walk a line between these manic states of productivity and chaos and utter shutdown.
I've actually been a lot better these days...wish-washing between extremes really takes a toll.

So tell me.....conjunction junction...what's your function?

How do you work? What's your lifestyle like?

Do you love the bragging rights of the uber busy or are you just a lazy fuck snarfing down Cheetos that are resting on your boobs?

No judgement here.  #doyouboo

Oh and PS- I am totally judging if you are lying around eating snacks off your chest.
Get to work! :)

Happy Friday! Thanks for reading!

Mar 9, 2016

Infertility Awareness: You are not alone


Happy Wednesday loves.
Before I jump to today's topic, I wanted to clue you into a tiny bit of stream-lining I did on this blog.

If you are viewing this on a desktop, you will notice I have separated all of my posts into three main categories just under my photo.
The goal was to simplify things based on what I talk about, which apparently is just three things.

Ha.

Home Design and Renovation: This one is obvious. When I'm not speaking about the topic of IVF and infertility, I spend my time dusting off the Interior Architecture degree and putting my creativity to use.

A Baby Through Science: Duh. After everything we've been through, we are hot on the trail using science as our for-tay into parenthood.

Seasons of Life: This is everything else under the sun that doesn't exactly have its own category but had meaning to me at some point. Each season brings something new.

Clicking any image will gather all my old posts into one place.
See? Streamlined.

Moving on....

Infertility Awareness.
It's a thing.
It's a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

Whether you are just starting to think that getting knocked up isn't as easy as your High School Health teacher led you to believe, or you are in the midst of the chaos of emotions that is trying to figure out the issues, or you made it out the other side, whether with child or without, infertility has defined you and your life and there is no escaping it.

It is a disease and you should not feel that you are alone in your journey.

But I get it.

As someone that wanted so badly to become a mom in 2012, and is still childless today, I can say without a doubt I have struggled with this topic.

I seemed broken and I didn't know what to do or who to turn to.

As women, we are capable of doing many courageous things in our life.

Leading companies, finding success in our professional and personal lives, fighting for causes, launching technology, succeeding and triumphing over failures...and yet, the core of US as WOMEN, that no man can do for us....is make a baby.

But I couldn't.

I couldn't make it happen, no matter how much Googling I did late at night, no matter how many pineapple cores I ate, or pills I swallowed, or minutes spent with my legs in the air, or sticks I peed on....I just couldn't do it.

And not being able to accomplish a task that was MEANT for me as a woman spiraled my emotions out of control, affecting my life and most importantly, my relationship with my husband.

I blamed myself.
I blamed him.
I became depressed.

Depressed because I was suffering and didn't say anything to anyone.
I kept everything deep inside and plastered a fake smile on my face.
Surely I could fix this!

As days turned to weeks that turned into years, I gave in and reached out.
I started speaking to specialists and doing more research.

And along the way I found a community.
A community of fellow infertility warriors chugging along on their own paths to motherhood.

Ladies....there are MILLIONS of us.
I found online forums, and Facebook groups and my personal favorite, Instagram.

And we are all here with the same goal.
To become parents.

Reaching out helps to build a safety net for every emotion you will have.
And trust me, you will go through them all.

When you are having a bad day and feel like all hope is lost.....we are here.
When you reach a milestone, have success, hell....do something crazy like ACTUALLY GET PREGNANT!.....we are here.

We are here through thick and thin, rooting you on along the way.
And crying with you as well.

Because ladies....these hormones are a mother fucker.

Infertility is much more common that you think.
1 in 6 couples will experience infertility.

One in SIX.

Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy after one year of actively trying (if under 35)...and six months if over that age.

But the REASON for infertility can be one of a thousand different things.

Some people have hormonal imbalances.
Some people have Male Factor Infertility.
Some people have biological disorders, such as blockages, endometriosis, and cancer.
Some people, like me, have genetic disorders.

There are couples with issues on BOTH sides.

And my favorite...the elusive unexplained infertility.

Ladies and gentlemen, UNEXPLAINED is roughly 25% of all cases.

Can you image how frustrating that is?
You just want an answer...ANY ANSWER....and all the specialists in the world can't help you.

So you chug along.
This all-consuming world of Infertility is now the norm in your life.

But I can tell you one thing.
It is because of our Infertility journey that I have the relationship I now have with my husband.

We were good before, but man....we are amazing now.

There have been points where both of us have felt so beat down that we don't understand how to dig our way out...and it's at that point that the other has scooped us up, dusted us off, and held our shoulders as we continue to trudge on.

We are Infertility Warriors.
We will NOT let this disease define us.
We are bigger than this beast.

So do yourself a favor and SPEAK. UP.
Reach Out.
Ask for help.

Whether you are struggling with figuring out if your OPK is positive, or stabbing yourself with your hundredth needle, or watching your squirmy baby on an ultrasound....share it.

Share it with your friends, your family, social media....ANYWHERE.
I urge you to stop hiding. I urge you make a case for yourself.
Stand your ground. You deserve it!

The more mainstream this issue becomes, the more normal it is for those after us.
We deserve that type of normalcy in life!

The more light we shed on this topic, the more our insurance will provide coverage and mandates NECESSARY to our journey.

I will do my part and continue to blog about my setbacks, failures, and triumphs until we finally succeed in our goal to become parents.

I will continue to support fellow TTC-ers on social media, especially Instagram (@tgendooza).

I hope you do the same and find comfort knowing one simple fact:

YOU. ARE NOT. ALONE.


Thank you so much for reading.

Mar 4, 2016

Three More Weeks


You guys.
Three. More. Weeks until our PGD set-up is complete!

THREE!!

We are halfway through the dreaded six week wait.
Sometimes it feels like the weeks are flying by and some days we're moving at a snails pace.

I have been trying to focus my attention on anything else, until we reach the end of a week, then I get giddy looking at all the days crossed off my planner, knowing we are THAT. MUCH. CLOSER.

I finally cut myself off on spending money with home upgrades.
I still have painting and organizing to do, but any projects that are leftover will have to wait.

Side note: ceiling painting is THE WORST! I finally finished all four ceilings last weekend and just KNEW at some point my head was going to roll down my back from craning my neck up for so long!

My creativity is spent and I'm kind of over this season of home renovation.
This week should be the last week of 30 degree temps and I'd like to wrap up all my painting this weekend.

Bring on summer and outdoor activities!

I made one last shopping trip this week that I was probably most excited about.
Home Depot.

Has anyone SEEN the house plants they have?

Eah. Mah. Gah.

What dork gets THAT excited about plants?

This girl.






Now to determine if I can keep them alive.

On another note, my dad is doing great.
He has met with multiple doctors, had a bunch of tests performed, and after getting all the recent results, his seems to be in the best possible position.

I'm not sure if I ever said exactly what he has.
I guess I was waiting to determine the level of severity and if there was anything else to worry about.
There are varying stages of concern with any cancer and I wanted to make sure we had all the facts.

So my dad has prostate cancer.
I have been told many times over that this is very common and the best one he could get, if he had to choose.
His MRI results came back to confirm he is in the very preliminary stages of peripheral prostate cancer, which is the region it is known to develop most often.
Nothing has metastasized to nearby organs.

His survival rate for a five year period, as of now, is 98%.

He is still working with specialists to determine the proper course of action because obviously it would be better if it just went away instead of living his life in 3 month increments, knowing it could possibly get worse at any point.

We all breathed a sigh of relief after this week.

Obviously it's still scary. Cancer is scary.
But it's the best news we could hope for at this point.
I feel blessed as it could be so much worse.

I am also thrilled that it has forced his hand to live a better lifestyle.

He is back at the gym most days and eating healthier.
A high-antioxidant diet tends to ward off free radicals, which have been known to aid in cancer development, so that is the route he is taking.

These days I look forward to chatting with him on the phone.
After so many years of frustrations, depression, and a general sour attitude dealing with other family issues, I am happy when he calls, knowing it's not going to be gloom and doom.

Happy Friday everyone! We are headed to a car show this weekend.
What are you plans? Thanks for reading!

Mar 2, 2016

Work Ethic


The issue of a populous of people lacking work ethic has been a recent topic of popular debate, ever since another 20-something spouted off about her so-called terrible working conditions during her time at Yelp.

To those who haven't read this article....I'm going to give you a bit of a spoiler: she was fired immediately after posting her open letter to the owner of Yelp.

Personally? I'm glad she was fired. I wouldn't continue to employ anybody ungrateful enough to assume that their first job would be filled with a standard 40 hour work-week and a ton of perks.

It's your first job. Dig in. Make something of yourself. Put in the work. Be proud.

I had not bothered to read the original article, until someone else posted a retaliation article about what it means to have a proper work ethic. It was written by a girl in her late 20's, and was a breath of fresh air to the seeming endless masses of young people who feel that once they finally finish college (because that's the hardest part of adulting, right?), they should rightfully be owed the position of CEO, or something equally lucrative.

Why work your way up when you should just be granted seniority?
But my parents told me I was THE BEST. 
Shouldn't I be placed on my golden throne just as they said?

I will admit, it does make me hot under the collar to think there are people in this world that don't understand it takes hard work, dedication, commitment and follow-through to reap the rewards of a life you think you deserve.

A lot of what I see stems from the notion that we set up these now-adults to enter a world where "YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!"

The issue with these types of statements is they are only half true.

Let me elaborate:

YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT...if you take the time to work for it.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT...if you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the long hours to reap the rewards that you desire.

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER if you take a stand, mold yourself into something greater, and do your part.

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT...if you apply yourself.
Learn from those before you.
Understand your surroundings.
Fail.
Get back up and do it better.

I would like to think I have established a good work ethic, and was lucky enough to marry into a family of like-minded do-ers.

Every day of our lives, Mark and I get up well before sunrise to accomplish the tasks that no one else is going to do for us.
We go against the "norm" of society and hit the hay early to make sure we have the energy to take on the next day.

Partying and staying up all hours of the night watching TV and snacking and generally not accomplishing anything has no room in our life.

We WANT to get ahead.
We WANT to better our lives.
I WANT to be in good shape, therefore I workout most days and choose to take the time to eat correctly and meal prep as needed.
Mark WANTS to run a successful company, so he makes the calls and plans his days at hours that may be deemed unfit to some.
We WANTED to buy a bigger home, on a larger lot, with some privacy, and we WANT it to be upgraded to our liking.
We WANT a child, therefore, will go through Hell or high-water this year to make it happen.
We WANT to retire at a decent age, and plan to do so by putting in the hours NOW to ensure our success.

And sometimes we fail.
But instead of pitching a fit, we figure out how to fix it and make it better the next time.

Throughout my childhood, I was told to not give up when the going gets hard, and if I want to be good at something, I have to practice.

For my third Christmas, my parents gifted me a keyboard and a music book.

I'm not sure they had any intention of me actually putting it to use, I mean, my fingers couldn't even reach an octave at that point. I was THREE.

But within a couple of hours, I had figured out how to read the elementary music and was playing Up On The Housetop without skipping a beat.

My parents, over-joyed, threw me into piano lessons faster than you could blink an eye.

I was a natural, but as I progressed in my lessons, I never really gave it much thought to practice unless I really, really needed to.

That was, until I entered my first contest.
I was up against some serious competitors (at age 5!) that ended up embarrassing me to no end because their talent was paramount.

And I cried because IT WASN'T FAIR!

And my dad looked me square in the eye, and said, if I wanted to be great, I had to work harder than everyone else.

So I put in the effort.
I practiced until my itty bitty fingers had callouses, then kept going.

I would memorize one song, then move onto the next, honing my skills along the way.
And each and every competition moving forward, I crushed, because I wanted to be the best.

Hard work pays off.

From that point forward, it set the tone for every task, every to-do list, every accomplishment I have ever made.

Nothing is worth doing if it's not worth your full effort.

You respect nothing and have no gratitude for those things you have been handed in life.

That doesn't mean life has to beat you down relentlessly for eternity.

If you're stuck doing something you hate, and have given it all you've got, exhausted all your resources, then make the choice to change, but do it wisely.

Be smart about changes and upgrades, learn from those older than you, survey your surroundings and make sound decisions.

My goal with work has always been the most money for the least amount of work.

But that doesn't mean I am lazy, nor does it mean I expected that straight out of college.

I put in more hours at more shitty jobs than I care to re-hash.

Each and every shitty job has managed to teach me something very important as I moved into the next position, and climbed the ladder to where I am today.

And guess what? I'm still climbing that damn ladder.
Still improving myself and my life.

A person needs life experience to get ahead.

They need the setbacks and failures as much as they need the accomplishments and triumphs.
Because it's those setbacks that make you grateful for things you can do or buy or become later in life.

The moral of the story is.....you CAN have anything you want in life, as long as you work for it.
Luck has a bit to do with it sometimes, but for each goal achieved, luck is a mere 5-10% of it.
Hard work is the other 90%.

And no, you don't have much life experience out of college.
That's what your 20's are for.
So eat some humble pie, wise up, and join the rest of the hard workers at the top....it's where you wanted to be anyways, remember?

Thanks for reading.