Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I am turning 32 on Friday!!

Who would believe it…. me 32….

And what else would a 32 year old concern herself with but death, finances and future security.

This year has been all about securing our future and the future of the in-laws. I have been working with them for months to get their finances in order.

When we stated this process the mother in-law had them near $20,000 in debt. After years of only minimal payments totaling over $600 monthly, making no head way on the actual debt, they were drowning.

I enrolled them in Debt Consolation program and lowered his monthly payments to half. We are slowly making progress.

Then we started the difficult talks about the future and their health. I had to start slow, which is why we are 5 months into the year and I am still working on it.

All the beneficiaries have been changed because of the mother in-laws diminishing mental health. Then we secured an insurance policy to pay mortgage payments for 3 years and a transfer of deed to Duste when the father in-law passes.

Now we are working on actual life insurance to pay for the funeral expense. Because of their age I had to look into policies through AARP. IF approved life insurance coverage will be $120 a month for both.

I also got the fun of price checking a gravestone and plots. This is the next savings goal for the in-laws.

Through all this it makes me aware of our future security. When we bought the house we got house life insurance, so at the time of either of our death it will pay off the house. Earlier this month we got a pleasant surprised to find Duste’s parents had life insurance on her since her early 20’s! So we changed the beneficiary and made note of it in our files. Now we are looking into life insurance on me. 

Next up – saving for plots and a headstone after renovations on the house are complete. None of this is fun but it is necessary. I do not want to be her parents’ age and in the same situation. I do want this to be done and over with so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

So, that’s what I have been doing on my way turning 32…..

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Looking back…..opening my heart and letting go!

I finally ordered the Captain Phil Harris book. We have been fans of deadliest catch since season two and watched with broken hearts as Phil Harris passed away on screen.

I didn’t expect much, nothing life changing, just a book for fun and got through it in one night – 5hrs later. I have read other books about famous people—mostly Russell Brand’s books. Other than some giggles, I didn’t get much from it and expected the same.

However, I was surprised by this one.

Maybe it just hit at the right time in my life, as I am letting go of control of those I love. (the illusion of control and the lack there of) You see for some reason I was born with this uncontrollable desire to “fix” everything and everyone. I took responsibility--very seriously and extremely personal-- for everyone I loved, their wellbeing and their decisions. Unfortunately, I was born into a family of addiction and ciaos.

I have learned along the way to let go of those who were sinking me, keep these people at arm’s length and accept the relationship for what it was and stop expecting it to be something it wasn’t. But I just couldn’t let go of the responsibility I felt each time they screwed up, again and again. I felt embarrassed, unloved and like an afterthought in their lives. I took every bad decision they made very personal, as an attack against me. I felt like I had let everyone down by letting them screw up once more. (yes, I realize as I write this how ridiculous that sounds.)

A few weeks ago, at the end of my rope and unable to take any more, I searched for an answer. I needed to find a way to fix me. I was the only one suffering, the only one dealing with the stress and spirit crushing despair I was putting myself through and I had enough. Then I read it—a quote. I don’t remember exactly what it said but it was along the lines of: We are all on our own path, everyone here is on their journey and everyone’s journey is different.
Then another one and another one:

How simple is that? I love it!

Now back to the book—After reading this book and a few hours of sleep later, it came to me—my mother and father are both on their own journey too. Their addictions, life decisions and choices had nothing to do with me. They love me and did the best they could. It is what it is and it was what it was.

If someone wrote a book about my parents we wouldn’t look so good under the spot light either and although their decisions and motives could be scrutinized; I know they did what they had to do and they always love me the best they can.

Yes, it really has taken me 32 years to get to this point. There was a lot of anger, frustration and heartache to get through. I forgive my parents. I am no longer living to be a good example for my sisters. I am truly free from all this nonsense. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

MRI -- Desmoid Tumor

6 month MRI 3 years after my last Desmoid Tumor

I have been dealing with these tumors for 7 long years. This is the first time scheduling got screwed up. Seems the person who handled scheduling 6 months ago didn't do something right. 

When I didn't receive any paper work or phones call I knew something wasn't right. I called the day before to be sure everything was still going to happen—I was assured everything was fine.

I got there and registration didn't have me in their computer. Got down to radiology and they didn't have me on their schedule. I called, the lady at the desk called and someone dropped the ball. I was moments from walking out of the door not to return this year when they talked me into staying in the city for 3 more hours to have my MRI done at a nearby hospital. By doing it this way I would have to wait until Thursday for my results by phone. I knew the waiting would not be fun.

My anxiety was way higher than normal and after thinking about it, this was my first time dealing with this without my anxiety meds.

I am terrified of those words no one wants to hear: Re occurrence and Surgery.

Surgery is scary, recovery is tough and all this would delay the reason I am out of work—having our first child. It is very frustrating.

Then the phone rang…..

Blah, Blah, Blah—finally the words came I was waiting for…No re occurrence shown! Plus areas where surgery has been done is finally healing!!

It’s a new record for me—3 years since last surgery and no re occurrence!!

I am thankful, excited, amazed and beyond happy!! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Time off

 1,200 calorie Diet

Since I am taking two months off from the IUI Fun, I have decided to get my weight back in check. I am back on my 1,200 calorie diet and have since lost 10lbs! I have a month left and hopefully I can make my goal of 10 more pounds!

It still amazing me how many more steps a day I take now that I’m not chained to a desk! It was a struggle to get 10,000 steps a day while working a desk job. I would take breaks to walk 3 flights of steps, walk to the farthest bathroom when needed and use my lunch time to walk around the block. Most days I barely got in the minimal 10,000 steps a day. Now that I am home I am far exceeding this goal! Office work was truly killing me—physically, mentally and emotionally.

MRI of 2015

My first annual MRI, marking 3 years since my last tumor, is next week. Of course, I am doing the usual second guessing every ache and pain. Grr!! I, like most with these tumors, live with pain every day. My pain is caused by my active lifestyle but because of nerve damage and muscle loss, I cannot tell where or why.  Meaning I can’t tell if it is deep pain, muscle pain, sciatic nerve pain and so on. I usually don’t think much about it, until close to my MRI appointment.

Easter is this weekend—can you believe it!
I planned the Easter Lunch Menu, sent out request to each family as to what they should bring and have been aggressively cleaning house to prepare. A Family Gathering and Spring Cleaning in one month keeps me motivated! I would take cleaning my house over a good day at the office any day!


The list of Renovations for 2015 has been created and work will soon start! Can you believe we have lived here since October 2008, it is amazing to look back at all the work we have done.

Inside work to be done:

Putting in a standard washer/dryer complete with shelf behind and an antique mirror above! We will also be closing in the staircase to upstairs to help with the cooling of the space in the summer. I am hopeful we can also put a turn at the top of the stairs to open up the landing a little more. (plus add a custom baby gate because almost 2 year old Eli Joseph does not respect gravity.) The rest is just upkeep/management.
                                                               Outside work:

We are taking out the circle drive we put in years ago—it is not functioning well and in the winter completely useless. Instead we are connecting our driveway to the in-laws driveway making a large circle. By doing this we can also fix the drainage/sloping issue which is causing flooding in the garage when it rains. The garages will also be getting siding—a project we started last year—with some paint on the doors and new lighting, they should come out looking amazing!

We also decided to move the kid play area to the empty space where the pool use to be. It is already landscaped around and with the addition of some well-placed trees for shade it should be a wonderful place to play! (with lots of sand to dig in too, which is what Keaton Michael and Ivy have been using the space for!)

In the side yard, where the play area is currently located, we are putting the hammock and hammock chair—I have been trying to find a place for them since we moved in!

So excited for all the changes!