Thirty Days of Thanks, Day Eighteen

The sports nut in me was in full swing today. That’s because we were downtown Detroit today at Ford Field watching our beloved Lions take on the Green Bay Packers. And although we lost the game, it was a good game to watch.

Hubby & I are lucky to live in a sports town, being the sports fans we are. We’ve got great college football and basketball teams to follow (although I will always be a True Blue Michigan Wolverine). And we’ve got great professional sports teams to root for.

So today, I’m thankful that we’ve gotten the opportunity to watch many of our beloved sports teams live in action.

Now, if we can only do something about the NHL lockout …

I Remember

Hi! How was your Thanksgiving weekend, readers? And for my neighbors to the north, hope you were able to cash in on some of the US’s “Black Friday” deals … or do you even have any sales like that for the day after the US’s Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I’m just being curious.

My Thanksgiving weekend was good: Got to spend time with Hubby’s family on Turkey Day. And on the weekend, managed to eek out a few great savings from Black Friday; both locally and at the “big box” shops. But the point is, I managed to check off a few people off my Christmas list.

More importantly, my favorite college football team managed to win the all-important “Biggest Rivalry in College Football” game. AND we got to watch the game at a bar & grill, hanging out with my two cousins.

These two girls — the youngest of my Dad’s nieces (and close to 20 years younger than me!) — have seriously been the support I’ve needed this past year while dealing with my Dad’s passing. Maybe it’s because, like me, Dad had played an important part in their lives; many times being the father-figure that they’ve needed. And as we talked throughout that day, I somehow managed to remember how much my Dad’s passing has affected them as well.

I forgot how my Dad would stick up for them if their mothers (my Dad’s sisters) gave them problems. I forgot how Dad would manage to sneak them some cash when he thought no one was looking. I forgot how much he loved to play with them, and as they got older, joke around with them. I forgot.

So to my two cousins, who miss my Dad as much as I miss him … know that I remember and that I’m forever grateful that you two always manage to check up on me when I need it most.


And Rain? Don’t worry, my darling kitty. I didn’t forget about today either. I can never forget the day that I lost my first and most favorite kitty in the world. Hope you’re up there keeping Dad company ….


Hail …

Whew. What a football game! And I swear … that 4th Quarter nearly gave me a heart attack. But what a way to kick off the first-ever “Under The Lights” game at Michigan Stadium.

And I’m so glad we were there. Except …

Except on the ride home — while basking in the afterglow of an underdog win — I suddenly felt a pang of sadness.

Today, Hubby & I decided to visit Dad. But before then, we decided to head to one of our favorite Detroit-area pizzerias. As I “checked in” to the restaurant on foursquare from my iPhone, I felt another pang of sadness.

While at the cemetery, Hubby and I had our usual “conversation” with Dad; telling him about what has been going on, even though we knew he could see us from above. We told him about the amazing come-from-behind Wolverine win. And we told him about eating at one of his favorite pizzerias for lunch.

And as we told him about these thing, I felt the tears roll down my cheek. Because I missed him.

I missed how we used to go to Pizzapapalis for special occasions like Father’s Day 2010 … the last time I “checked in” on foursquare at that restaurant.

And I missed how Dad never failed to call me after such exciting football games (or any other sporting events) to tease me that he was there at the game … even though we both knew he was just watching the game on TV while sitting in his recliner.

It amazes me how much one can miss silly things such as these … when you know it won’t happen again.

Thanks for the Wolverine win, Dad …

Yada Yada … and Then Some

See? I don't think my niece, Kairi is ready for Fall either!

Sad but true … tonight was the first night I stepped outside my house since Labor Day.

It’s a good thing Hubby made it a Dinner & A Movie kind of night, otherwise I would have likely stayed at home in my pajamas as I had done all week long.

What can I say? I love working from home … well, at least when I’m not traveling for my job. And seeing that I’ve spent the past few months “grounded” at home, doing all web-based “virtual training” all day in my home office … sometimes I see no reason to step out of the house.

I guess it’s also a good thing it was a short week.

But seeing that the weather in Metro-Detroit has been pretty much crappy since Monday, it’s probably best I stayed away from the annoying drivers who can’t seem to figure out how to drive in the rain.

I mean … really, people. We live in the Motor City, we should all know how to drive like mail carriers: Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet — yada yada …

As if I don’t have enough to whinge about, here’s my biggest gripe for the day: Today I put on a pair of jeans for the first time since May. Although I was (very) grateful that they still fit (whew!), I was more upset that this meant we were one step further away from summer.

Can you tell I don’t want the warm weather to disappear?

I don’t know why I’ve been feeling like this lately. I mean I truly love Autumn and everything that surrounds the beautiful season … but it’s almost as if this year I’m dreading it.

I’m beginning to think that it’s not that I no longer like the coming season, but rather I don’t like thinking about what comes after the leaves fall from the trees and the bitter cold starts to settle in. After all, I’ve never been much of a Winter person.

Maybe it’s because Autumn means I’m one step closer to Thanksgiving … to the weekend when my beloved Rain passed away. To when my Dad first entered the hospital that first week in December. To when he passed away.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’ll be a year very soon. Yet it almost seems a lifetime apart. There are some days I’m perfectly okay with things; okay with getting on with my life.

But then there are those other days … days like this past week … where the emotions are still so raw; so painful to even think about. And although those moments don’t happen as frequently any more … when they do, they seem so much more intense.

In any case, I know that time doesn’t stop for grief. If there is anything that dealing with the emotions of Infertility has taught me is that life keeps moving on despite the all hurt and pain.

Too bad it only took me ten years to discover this. <smirk>

So here’s what I plan to do to keep moving on: Tomorrow I’m gonna enjoy going to the Big House for the first night-time Michigan Football game. (Woo-hoo! Go Blue!) And Sunday we’ll go watch Hubby’s younger cousin peform with his HS Marching Band at one of the small-town parades. And Monday? I go for my first guitar lessons.

So yeah … maybe getting myself (and keeping myself out of the house) will do me some good.

In the mean time … maybe this video will inspire me to embrace Autumn in Ann Arbor …

Sock-Her Match

Whew. It’s been a busy few days. Hubby & I drove home to Detroit last Thursday and just arrived back to Chicago tonight. Lots of fun things happened during our trip home; of which I’d like to write in more detail. However, I’m quite tired right now.

Instead, I find myself sitting on our couch watching some World Cup soccer and enjoying it immensely. The only thing I find highly annoying are the darn horns; of which it sounds much like a nonstop remix of “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

Watching the World Cup reminds me of when the tournament was played here in the U.S. back in 1994. And if you asked Hubby about that time period, he would no doubt tell you one of his famous “Emily” tales; one that usually includes adding some embellishments to the actual story.

This tale includes a book bag, an important career-defining test, a Type-A gal (aka me ), and free tickets to see the U.S. play against Switzerland.

Back in 1994, I had just graduated from Nursing School and was studying to take the Nursing Boards (NCLEX) which would provide me licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse. 1994 was also the first year that the NCLEX would be provided to each candidate indivdually on a computer. Prior to this, each candidate took the same standard exam at a set date and time in an incredibly huge room with the rest of the eligible candidates for that date. In addition to taking the exam on the computer, each exam would be unique; meaning that the test questions would vary from person to person and … depending on how you did, you could have a minimum of 75 questions, up to a maximum of 265 questions. Regardless of how many questions you ended up answering, one could fail at 75 questions or pass in 265 questions. So needless to say, I was quite nervous as I had no previous reference to taking these computer adaptive tests.

This also meant that I took my study guide with me everywhere so I could study at a whim. And back in 1994, laptops weren’t common, iPhones weren’t invented with apps to assist in studying for these exams. Oh … and the internet wasn’t readily accessible to the general public; so forget being able to google  for answers on WebMD or Nope; this meant that on top of the study guide I’d take with me, I might just take one of 20 lb textbooks for Pediatrics or Med/Surg … depending on what topic I wanted to study that day. And oh, did I mention that my study guide weighed about 10 lbs all on its own?

Anyway, less than a week before I was to take my exam, my then-fiance called me up and told me that he had two free tickets to a World Cup match at the Pontiac Silverdome, compliments of his employer at that time. Initially, I had told him that I wouldn’t go because I still felt I had so much more studying to do. Except, well … he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Once in a lifetime chance,” he’d tell me; followed by “you need to take a break from studying so much!” And, truth be told, he was right. I was THAT Type-A that I felt I couldn’t go a moment without studying for the NCLEX.

That’s how I found myself heading to the World Cup.  But because I still couldn’t let go of not studying at all, I also found myself taking my 30 lbs backpack filled with NCLEX studying material. I considered it my “security blanket.”

Because of security reasons and traffic issues, the city of Pontiac required that all ticket-holders be shuttled into the Silverdome from their downtown location. (And yet, I was allowed to take a huge backback in then … Wow, life pre-9/11!) So the day of the game, Then-Fiance and I stood in line with another coworker and his girlfriend waiting to catch a 15-minute shuttle ride to the venue. And once we got there, we were so enthralled with the international atmosphere and into the game which ended up in a 1:1 tie.

Afterward, we found ourselves amidst 70,000-plus people trying to catch a shuttle back to downtown Pontiac. Oh, and did I mention it was 90-some degrees outside that day? It must have taken us more than an hour just to get onto a shuttle and, because of surrounding traffic, an additional half hour to get back downtown. But the kicker of it all was … that entire time, I did not once open up my backpack to study.

Stryker, the 1994 World Cup Mascot

Instead, the wonderful man (that I eventually married) ended up carrying my 30 lb security blanket the entire time … while I “absorbed” all the information by osmosis.

He’s such a good guy, my husband … and even though he’d likely tell his side of this story by adding an additional 50 lbs worth of study material, I am most grateful for all the wonderful things — big or small — that he does for me on a daily basis.

And reflecting back on this tale? Well it just reminds me that even back before our lives were immersed in the world of Infertility … that my wonderful husband was always there to let me know when I needed to come up for air and take a breather.

I guess you can say that I scored big by marrying such a wonderful man. And that we make a perfect match.

Okay, I’ll stop it with the lame soccer terms. More interesting posts coming soon … I promise. But for now, it’s nighty-night!