Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The List Goes On

I can hardly keep up with all the things we have in progress on the remodel of our house, but at least I can mark another item off the list.  Our sunroom (what we use as Dutch's playroom) was previously very stark, uninviting and completely whitewashed.  I'm talking floors, ceiling, walls, shutters - everything - was painted white.  Here's a picture of one of the walls:

We decided it really needed some color, especially if it is currently serving as a toddler's playroom.  Here's what it looks like now:

What an awesome difference!  The design is carried all the way around the room, but it's not overwhelming since we picked such a soothing color.  I like this room so much more now.

Other items in progress right now include a major remodel of Dutch's bathroom.  I'm very excited about that project because it involves opening up a wall and adding a doorway, removing a closet, installing two new granite countertops, installing two new faucets, installing two new light fixtures, painting a cabinet, installing a new mirror, and installing new tile.  It's almost ridiculous how different that area of the house is going to look, but it's definitely going to modernize it.  We're also working on painting all the paneling and picture frame molding in the living room.  So much going on!  One project always leads to another.  I'm excited to share pics as each thing gets done.    

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Got My Stitch Fix

I've had a couple of friends tell me about Stitch Fix over the past couple of months, and I finally got around to giving it a shot.  It's a neat concept - you tell the website all of your sizes and style preferences, and they send you five items to try out. You can tell them if you prefer dresses over jeans, or necklaces over earrings, etc. You really do customize it. But, then it's a complete surprise what exact items are coming, so that adds to the fun of it. You pay a $20 styling fee upon shipment, and then that amount gets credited towards whatever you want to keep out of the 5 items.  If you don't want a single thing, then you lose the $20.  Prices can really vary on the items, but you tell them ahead of time what you are comfortable with, and then you can keep adjusting your comfort level with each fix.  I got my first package today, and here's what was inside:

Sanctuary Rizzo Skinny Ponte Pants $88

Matty M Cashel Silk Detailed Short Sleeve Shirt $78

Natural Life Bowman Hi-Lo Solid Knit Tank $38

Pink Martini Sally Mixed Stripe Dress $108

41Hawthorn Elephant & Tree Charm Necklace $28

I loved the concept, because it made me try on new brands and styles I might not have normally picked at a store.  The skinny pants were pretty awesome, but at that price, and considering I couldn't gain a single pound without them being too small, I decided not to keep them.  The black shirt was cute, but it was too flowy, and I need some definition in my tops.  I kept the coral tank because it fit well and gave a dressier look to a normally casual top.  The dress was totally adorable (pockets, yes!) and fit really well, but I just didn't think the cut up top was flattering on me.  The necklace was a funny addition, because I initially saw it and put it right back in the box.  I was like, "what is this weird thing?"  Then, I decided to at least try it on and, of course, I fell in love with it.  It hangs at a good spot, and it made me think of a couple of pleasing memories.  My favorite quote involves a tree ("Plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit"), and one of my favorite people in the world is currently working on the Surin Project with the Save Elephant Foundation. It was meant to be.  :)

After deciding what I liked and didn't like, I went online to the website and told them which things I'd be returning (they make it easy with a prepaid bag you just drop in the mail).  I also rated and commented on each item they sent, so they can get a better feel for my preferences, and told them how I felt about the prices of the items.  I also scheduled my next fix, for next month.  You can do them as often as you like, so I'll start monthly and see how that goes!  I'm sure there will be some months where I need to take a break, and they're totally fine with that.  You're not under contract. If you want to give it a shot, use this referral link so that I can get credit when you get your first fix!  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Back, Back, Back and Forth

The last update I made about my back was how I was still in constant pain after my surgery.  The next suggestion from my surgeon was to have a spinal fusion.  This would entail removing the protruding disk, inserting a spacer, and fusing the vertebra together above and below it, with rods.  That is a scary proposition because it's a more serious surgery and has a longer recovery time.  I wasn't too thrilled with this, but considering how much this herniated disk is disrupting my life, what are my options?  The interesting thing, however, is that the pain has completely moved to my left side.  My chief complaint before surgery was pain on the right side.  So, this means the diskectomy technically worked because it removed the protrusion on the right side, but now I have a protusion on the left side.  So, same level of pain as before, just in a different place.

This might help you understand what I'm dealing with:

See that piece of crap disk towards the bottom of the picture that is infringing on my spinal nerve?  There's supposed to be a nice, smooth white line running down this pic, and instead there is a bulge in that spot where the arrow is pointing.  That is causing all my problems!

Before deciding to proceed with an additional surgery, I went to get a second opinion from another spinal surgeon.  I brought my post-surgery MRI and they took back x-rays and examined me. This surgeon didn't think a spinal fusion was the next best course of action.  He actually recommended that I get another diskectomy, just on the left side this time.  He also thought an epidural steroid injection in the meantime might be worth a shot.  I've had two of those in the past, on the right side, with no improvement.  Since the process and recovery on those shots is pretty simple, and my insurance is excellent, I figured I might as well try it.

This past Monday I had the epidural steroid injection on the left side.  That day and the day after, I had soreness in my back, which was expected, and no nerve pain on the left side.  This was short-lived, and the pain returned on Wednesday.  I'm back to feeling the same things I did before the shot.  Honestly, I didn't expect the shot to work, but I really wished it had!  I was hoping it would magically calm down all the inflammation around the protrusion, and give the disk a chance to work its way back where it's supposed to be. No such luck. The next step is going back in for a follow-up, and talking about when I should schedule the second diskectomy.  I need a break.  For real.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Staycation Vacation

Last month we had a staycation vacation with Meezy's side of the family.  His three siblings and their spouses and kids headed over to our neck of the woods to hang out for a few days.  Two siblings live in Amarillo and the other lives in Fort Worth.  It was nice to have us all together at one time!  It just so happened that my sister and her family were going to be out of town that same weekend, so she offered up her house for people to stay in.  That's perfect because she only lives one mile from me!  So, we all were able to be lodged close together without anyone having to pay for a hotel.

Family night of Farkle

Loved having the kiddos together

We had cookie decorating one night

Celebrated Meezy's sister's birthday (the numbers on the cake MIGHT be incorrect)

Niece Emma enjoyed our tree swing

Pool time was a must

Nephew KC enjoying the cool water

Family swim day

Cousins providing us with blackmail material later in life

Splashing around outside

Water balloons!


Trip to the Perot Museum

Dutch loved the fake flowers

Cousins doing some coloring

We have a thing for bridges

Traversing the bridge like pros

It was such a great weekend and we were so happy to host!  I think everyone had a good time, and it was a great way for all of us to be together without spending a fortune on travel or lodging.