A "Hula"-va Birthday

Happy Birthday, dear Hubby of mine! I know I’m a day late in posting my birthday wishes to you on my blog, but as you already know … we had one busy weekend!

First there was heading out to the movies on Friday night to watch “The D.ark Kn.ight” which you and I agreed was awesome. Too bad He.ath Ledg.er won’t be around to reprise his role as the Jok.er … 🙁

And then Saturday … on your actual birthday … we spent the day in Ann Arbor, our stomping grounds during the fall football seasons for the Wolverines. Wasn’t it fun checking out the Ann Arbor Art Fair? I love going to there every year because it always reminds me of the summers when we were still dating and the fun and interesting conversations we’d always have on the way to and from the Art Fair. I just find it humorous that we always come back from the Art Fair with more books from Shaman Drum Bookshop and clothing on sale from the various boutiques than we do actual art work! It’s just so sad that very few indie record stores (that actually sell vinyl) exist in the area anymore …

Ann Arbor will always bring back such fond memories of us and our college years … when we would spend countless hours driving back and forth from Oakland University and the University of Michigan, just so we’d be able to spend time together. Remember the times we’d risk life and limb in the dead of winter just to make it to each other’s place? Apparently not much has change in the eighteen years since we’ve been together (not to mention the twenty LONG years that we’ve been friends).

Okay, so that’s not exactly true. I mean, geez … we did age twenty years since then. We finished college and we’ve managed to have pretty successful careers. We got married and we bought our house. We’ve managed, between the two of us, to fill our house with books. And movies. And music. Not to mention photo albums. And cool electronic gadgets. And computers (many of which have been relegated to the computer “graveyard”). And pets, which have become our little mutt of a family.

But let’s not forget the one thing that has always filled our home and our hearts since that incredible day almost 12 years ago. And that’s the love that we have for one another. The one thing in my life that I am most grateful for. I thank my luck stars every day that we share the same love for one another, the same heart.

So today … err, or rather yesterday … I want to wish you a wonderful birthday. May the fun and happiness we’ve had in Ann Arbor and in every moment of our lives … continue for years and years (and years) to come.

Dawn of Summer

It’s Sunday Morning around 7:30 am. Except with the time difference, it feels like an hour later.

Yesterday, Hubby & I made an impromptu trip to Chicago. Initially we were supposed to go with my parents to visit Dr. Bro & Dr. SIL, but instead we went alone. Last minute, we were booking a hotel room so that we wouldn’t have to bother the busy docs so much.

Imagine our suprise when we got into our hotel room and saw a view of Lake Michigan. It. Was. Spectacular. And to top it off, we scored a corner room which just happened to be the best view of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. I’ve been to Chi-town many times in my life, but have never had the opportunity to have such an incredible view of Lake Michigan.

You see, at the last minute the cheapest room we could find within the downtown area was at the Congress Plaza Hotel. And even then, it was a little on the pricier side than what we would have like to spend. But, oh was the view definitely worth it. Especially at around 4:30-ish when I specifically set the alarm to watch the sun rise.

It was a thrilling moment this morning, looking over Lake Michigan’s horizon and anticipating the sunrise. Watching the sky turn different shades of a pastel-like rainbow as I waited patiently for the sun to make his (her?) appearance seemed to be very symbolic of my life at this exact moment. At least I hope it is.

Last Monday, I had a follow-up appointment with my GYN to go over the current treatment I’ve been receiving for endometriosis. Yes, I’m talking about that God-awful drug called Lupron. After reviewing the ultrasound results from my last date with the US tech, my GYN gave me the option of continuing on Lupron for one more month (to make it a total of 6 months) or stop it after receiving the Month Five dose on that visit. Guess which one I chose?! Uh-huhn … one last shot in the rear, and I was skipping out of that office knowing that I no longer had to endure the side effects after this month.

And after this month, I’m looking at the end of yet another dark period in my life. Hopefully this means no more awful headaches. Or no more of those d*mn hot flashes. But most of all? Hopefully no more of that rainbow of emotions from extreme happiness to anger in a flash of a second. And hopefully no more tears brought on suddenly by a tidal wave of sadness or of feeling completely overwhelmed by something as simple as getting up for the day.

I’m literally hoping it’s the dawn of a new day in this period in my life. And seeing as yesterday was the Summer Soltice, otherwise known as the first full day of summer, I’m hopeful that I will find the inner strength in me … the power of the sun, if you will … to climb out of the horizon of darkness of and into the light of a new day.

How appropriate, because two weeks from today, I will be celebrating yet another year of life that I’ve gotten through. And this birthday, I want to celebrate the fact that I was born and not focus on the fact that I will still be childless at the age of 36.

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And now pics from our impromptu Chi-town Trip

Nieces and Nephews

Hubby & I are back from Chicago and from visiting with my brother and SIL. Dr. Brother is finishing his last year of residency at one of the major hospitals in the Chi-town area while Dr. SIL works in the ER at another area hospital. But despite their hectic schedules, they took the time out to spend Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday entertaining us.


And it's Slytherin Green to boot!

Not that they honestly had to do too much to entertain Hubby & me. Really, all we wanted to do was spend time and hang out with them. We spent some of our time walking around the Bucktown / Wicker Park area, thinking that perhaps we could afford things from some of their upscale resale shops … uh, yeah. Guess I’m a little to used to finding great deals at the local Sal.vatio.n A.rmy. But I did manage to find this really cool shirt. Okay, so I didn’t so much “find” it … rather I copy off my SIL’s idea, as I just loved the whole “snarkiness” of it all.

The other part of our time was spent doing our favorite pastime when we’re together … and that’s eat. If there’s one thing that I wish we had around where Hubby & I live is rows and rows of restaurants and bars with varying tastes. There’s only so many times you can eat at a chain restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I love my A.bee’s Triple Choco Meltdown, but perhaps I’d like to try something … I don’t know … a little less manufactured? So yes. We ate … and we stuffed ourselves with some great food. Tummy was definitely satisfied!

But the real reason for our visit? Yes … it was to see my “nieces” and “nephews.” The four-legged variety, that is. Oh boy, did we ever have fun with the boys. They are way too loveable! But rather than tell you about them … here’s some pics of them along with their “sisters,” Mocha & Sophia, who have ruled (and continue to rule) the household.

The sad thing? Come this summer, my brother and SIL are moving to the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brother managed to secure a one-year fellowship out there and Dr. SIL has also managed to obtain a few job offers. This means that in order to visit them and the “nieces” and “nephews,” we’d either have fly out to the coast OR take an extremely loooong road trip.

On the Road

This is what you get for
making faces at the camera!

Hubby & I have been getting a little antsy lately. We’ve both been crazy busy at work lately and were looking for a little adventure. So we decided to take a little road trip this weekend.

The catalyst for our trip was to head back to the west side of the state to attend a surprise birthday celebration for one of our friends. The look on his face when he saw that we drove such a distance today just to celebrate with him was priceless.

Then we figured since we were already out that far, we’d keep heading west and visit my brother and his wife in Chi-town. Well really … I wanted to visit my two “nieces” (the kitties Mocha and Sophia) and “nephew” (the adorable Wrigley). That and meet the newest member of their family “Ryan,” who is another rescue greyhound and actual litter mate of Wrigley. This should be fun … let’s see how four adults, two cats and two big dogs can all comfortably move around in a not-so-big condo.

We have no idea what else we’re going to do during our trip to the Windy City. We’ve been there so many times that we’ve pretty much exhausted all the “tourist-y” attractions. Except maybe go up the top of the Sear.s tower, which I’ve never had any inclination to do anyway. I think we just wanted to take some time to get away from the every day grind. We all need those mini-vaca’s every once in awhile …

In the mean time, here’s a photo that my SIL sent to me of Ryan. Apparently he has quite the same demeanor as his brother Wrigley … so I’m sure that I’ll be falling in love with him as well. Too bad they couldn’t keep the whole baseball field theme with the names and call him “Bennett” (as in one of the original names for Tiger’s Stadium) or “Trumbull” (as in “The Corner” of Michigan Ave and Trumbull, where the old stadium used to be). But the names Wrigley and Ryan do sound pretty darn cool together … so I’ll let them keep it. 😛

I’m sure I’ll have more pics of the “nieces and nephews” when we get back … so be prepared for an onslaught of pet pics in a later post. But for now … we’re off to Chicago!

Me, Bartleby and Ta.rzan

Hubby & I spent the night on the west side of the state Saturday night. We were out that way specifically to catch the theater debut of one of our friends. (I’d tell you more about the play, but “I’d prefer not to.” But I do have to say, I do think our friend did a wonderful job.)

We’ve been to this town before (the most recent to see the Cowboy Junkies about five years ago), but never got a chance to really check the place out. But since our friend lives out there, we managed to get the “grand tour” of the area which included a trip to a local brewery that produces the only beer my alcohol-allergic / beer-loathing Hubby will drink. Seriously didn’t know that this brew was locally-produced.

Anyway, we ended up staying the night because the play didn’t even start until 11:00 pm. And then afterwards, well … of course we ended up going out and grabbing a drink afterwards. So we booked a room at one of the local hotels just to rest our heads for the night. After all, it’s a decent 3-hour ride back to Detroit and we weren’t about to make that drive after being out until 2 am. (Okay, maybe we would … if we were still college-age!)

The next morning, I turned on the TV in the room (while Hubby started to get ready) and started flipping through the channels. As I flipped, I stumbled onto the Dis.ney channel that happened to be showing the animated film, “Ta.rzan.” I don’t know what possessed me to keep the TV on that channel, but I suddenly found myself sucked into the movie.

There’s something about Dis.ney animated movies that I really enjoy. Especially the ones that were produced from “The Little Mermaid” onward. OK, so there were a few that I could care less about (hmmm … “Emperor’s New Groove”?), but overall I’ve liked their films.

In fact when planning our wedding, Hubby & I created a “Three Wishes” theme, including designing our own invitations (which, back in 1996, was definitely not a common thing to do) based on the movie “Aladdin.” It started with a porcelain figure of Jasmine & Aladdin that Hubby gave me when we were still dating which we thought would make a great cake topper. Then we chose “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” as our first dance and then gave little ceramic genie lamps as our favors. Yes, I guess you can say we had our own version of our “Dis.ney Fairy Tale” wedding.

But I digress … What struck me about watching “Ta.rzan” was the whole “Boy being raised by a gorilla” thing. Specifically the part where Ta.rzan found out how he came to live with and grow up with a pack of gorillas. Now, I’m assuming that most people have seen this movie or are familiar with the story. However, if you haven’t and you have the urge to read the book / watch the movie … then I suggest you skip the next two paragraphs.

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If you recall that in the movie (because the movie actually does vary a bit from the book by Edward Burroughs), Ta.rzan was brought up by a pack of gorillas and was always regarded by the other gorillas as different. This, however, didn’t matter to his “Mom,” Kala, who brought him up as her own, after losing her own baby gorilla by the same leopard who killed Ta.rzan’s parents. When Ta.rzan stumbles upon Jane and is surprised that there is a person who looks similar to him, he tries to learn from Jane (and her father) as much as he can about his “kind.” Ultimately, Jane is supposed to be leaving back for “merry olde England.” As Ta.rzan had ultimately fallen in love with her, he has to make the decision to either remain behind or go with Jane.

Before Ta.rzan’s decision is made, Kala tells him the truth about his parents and how, after her own son died, she raised him as if he was her own child. After he makes his decision to follow Jane, he turns to Kala and tells her that she will always be his mom.
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Uh, yeah … and that’s where the tears started flowing. (Thank God Hubby was in the shower at that point!) I kept thinking that if I was Kala, I would would be absolutely heartbroken. Proud of him, but utterly heartbroken for myself.

First of all, it’s the whole “mother who loses her own biological child” thing. How can that not relate to how I’m feeling? Okay, so I never was able to get pregnant on my own and have never physically lost a pregnancy. Or worse, a baby. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right to grieve about not being able to have my own biological baby. And how about those that have experienced failed IVF’s alongside with me? Or those that have experienced ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages? Those are all losses.

And then there’s the whole “being raised by someone that didn’t give birth to you” issue. Uh … that would totally relate to adoption. I know that my journey through infertility has taken me down the adoption path. And I know that every day I am one step closer to becoming just as strong as Kala wanting to raise a child that isn’t biologically part of me.

I know that adoption is my fate and once I have my child, I will be so totally, utterly and unconditionally in love with him/her. BUT … I can’t help but think that somehow, somewhere down the adoption path I will truly start to freak out about the possibility that this child might not love me or feel that the love he/she has for me is not as strong as it would be if I were his/her biological mother.

Huhm … I just realized that perhaps my child would probably think the same of the love that I would have for him/her. He/She could be thinking … “Does she love me as if I were born from her womb?” Well, the answer to that is yes. As I’ve never been able to experience pregnancy, I guess I wouldn’t know the difference between loving a child that is biologically mine or loving one that was brought into our family through adoption. So my future son or daughter … I want to let you know this right now: I will love you, because … to me, you are my own child.

Damn Dis.ney … why must you always produce movies about orphaned heroes or heroines that overcome adversity. Do you purposely peer into my heart and see which one of those heart-strings (or better yet, my apron strings) to pull?!