Wine Not??!

Between the ongoing cold weather, the holidays and multiple family commitments, as well as my recent run in with the plague (aka pneumonia) I decided it was time to have a little fun before I went completely insane. So in order to save my mental health I decided to have a ladies wine tasting party because you know, wine not? (haha see what I did there).

Why a wine party you ask? Well, I like wine (a lot). Pair that with cheese, sliced meats, olives, and girl gossip and you’ve got yourself an amazing time. Also, I thought having a wine tasting would make things a little more interesting  (Besides a wine tasting is classy and makes it completely acceptable to drink multiple bottles of wine on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently, if you just sit around your house alone enjoying a nice bottle of Cabernet  you’re an alcoholic).

I decided to go with a blind wine tasting and throw in a prize at the end for the person who brought the most popular wine. Here is how a blind tasting works:

  1. Have everyone bring two bottles of the same wine pre-wrapped in a brown paper bag. Make sure the wine is wrapped before the guests arrive because you don’t want to know who brought what.
  2. When the guests arrive one of the bottles gets a number and the other bottle get set to the side.
  3. Start with number one and go through tasting each wine until you have tasted them all. I had my guests rinse out their glasses in between each tasting so that they wouldn’t be mixing wines. (Ultimately, I would have loved to provide each guest with a separate glass for each tasting, but I don’t have that many wine glasses).
  4. I provided my guests with a wine tasting sheet I found on Pinterest so that they could rate each wine and mark down any notes.
  5. When everyone was done tasting we compiled the ratings and the person who had the most popular wine won all the second bottles of wine. (I KNOW!! What a prize) They can take the bottles home or in our case we popped open some more and continued on with the party.
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Apps Galore!

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Lovely Ladies

It was a great time with some of my favorite ladies and would totally do it again. So, if you’re in the mood for a little fun try hosting a wine party. Pick up some wine, throw together some yummy snacks, and invite some of your ladies. (The best part, when you host you don’t have to drive home!)

L

 

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Love is in the Air

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! My husband and I stayed home, cooked a nice steak dinner, and watched a movie. However, other than the 30 minute convo about what jobs the wizards in Harry Potter have and who else beside Mr. Filch takes care of Hogwarts, our night was a pretty typical Tuesday. (We were watching “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and all sorts of random questions always seem to come up from my husband. Apparently the castle is way too big for one care taker and he for some reason is dying to know how the other wizards, the ones that aren’t professors or students, get their money).

Don’t get all mad at me for saying this, but to me Valentine’s Day is a little overrated. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but to be completely honest I don’t really need one day dedicated to telling my sweetie how much he means to me. Go ahead and judge me if you must, but my husband and I show each other love every day, I don’t need a Hallmark holiday filled with candy and cards to do it for me. Also, I’m not really the lovey, dovey type who swoons over super romantic nights. (Just give me a large pizza and a bottle of wine and I am yours forever)!

Now that you fully hate me and may be accusing me of hating love. Let me just say that getting flowers out of the blue for no reason is much more romantic to me than roses on a predetermined holiday. Isn’t it more romantic and thoughtful to get flowers randomly because they were just thinking about you? (Who knows, maybe it’s just me?)

Sure in grade school it is fun to exchange cards and it was always nice getting a carnation from a secret admirer, but I guess it’s just one of those holidays that doesn’t have much meaning to me anymore. It’s not like it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, where everyone celebrates by drinking and dying things green. (Any holiday centered on drinking is a holiday I can get behind! haha) But really, all joking aside my husband and I choose to show each other every day by the things we do for one another. I make his lunch every night, he takes out the trash, he clears my car when it snows, and I make sure that he has clean clothes. There are many many ways we show each other love and its not a box of chocolates.

BTW I am not a complete bitch. I did make Valentine’s Day cupcakes for the office.

L

 

 

The Post Christmas Plague

Happy 2017 everyone! I hope that everyone’s year has gotten off to a wonderful start. The end of 2016 and the beginning of my 2017 was definitely interesting, but so far things are going great! In my last post I promised that I would tell you all about my lovely post Christmas ER visit. So without further adieu, here you go:

First I should mention that I do not like urgent care, I am not a fan of the doctor, and really really hate the emergency room. I will go to the doctor for yearly check ups, but unless my head is falling off you will have to drag me to any other medical visit kicking and screaming.

A little over a week before Christmas I was sick (shocking I know). I had the nasty cough, body aches, chills, hot flashes; the whole nine yards. However, after a couple of days of being flat out on my back I was feeling a lot better. The cough had other plans though and decided to stick around. On Christmas Eve and Christmas it decided to rear its ugly head causing me to throw up because I was coughing so hard. My husband insisted I go to urgent care, but since I didn’t feel sick and it was just a cough I refused. (I’m super stubborn or just a real pain in the ass. My husband is so lucky).

Anyway, the day after Christmas I got up to go to an early chiropractic appointment and my husband got up to take me. I should have known something was up, because there was no reason for him to drive me 15 min to a 5 min appointment. After my back and neck were once again semi functioning properly (I think all the coughing pulled some muscles) the sneak drove me straight to urgent care. I was not pleased, but he insisted he was worried so in we went where we sat for over an hour to see a doctor. To top off the long wait time I had to wear one of those super sexy masks because I was coughing. It was really hot and fogged up my glasses when I would breath.

When we finally got into see the doctor all hell broke loose because my blood pressure was really high and apparently that’s a BIG deal. Three different nurses and the doctor ended up taking my bloods pressure. They also switched machines and did it manually about 4 times. The doctor determined that I had bronchitis, but because my blood pressure was so high he said he would let me leave (at this point I was seething at Tom. I was starving and now super anxious). The doctor then asked why my blood pressure was high and what I was so anxious about. (Well thanks genius, ask a super anxious women why she is freaking out after you scare the crap out of her and tell her she can’t leave. That always works with someone who has anxiety)

After all that nonsense he gives me a breathing treatment, which unbeknownst to me had epinephrine in it and cause me to shake uncontrollably and freak out anymore. Finally, hours later, they gave me some blood pressure medication, a pain pill for my chest, an Ativan to calm me the fuck down and sent me home with instruction to go to the ER if my blood pressure didn’t go down. (Yeah fucking right. After that hell I just went through you think I am going to be all willing to hit up the ER). Once we got home my husband put me to bed, where I immediately passed out, and then the plotting began.

Knowing full well that I wasn’t going to willing go to the ER, while I was sleeping, my husband packed me a bag and arranged for someone to pick up the dogs. Once he was ready he woke me up and said that if I didn’t get in the car my brother in-law was going to call the ambulance. That would have been humiliating, not to mention expensive, so I got in the car.

I do have to say that the hospital was much faster, but the whole being stuck with needles multiple times was not my idea of fun. I am not ashamed to say that I cried every time they had to draw blood or insert an IV. Oh, I also accidentally spilled a whole water bottle on the intake desk while checking in. After x-rays, EKG’s, and multiple blood tests I was diagnosed with pneumonia, bronchitis, and once again high blood pressure. Everything else came back normal. They gave me a nice cocktail of meds and I got to watch TV while they waited for them to kick in. Once my blood pressure started going down I was released with strict instructions to stay on bed rest and follow up with my primary care to get this whole blood pressure shit straightened out.

Let me tell you, if you think the idea of bed rest sounds fun, you are wrong. After a couple of days you are so bored. I watched a lot of random TV and I couldn’t read because with the narco they had me on I couldn’t remember the sentence I just read. I would end up reading the same sentence over and over. In fact, I couldn’t remember shit. Other fun side effects, included:

  • I had to write down when I took my meds because I had no idea if I had taken them
  • When I tried to do laundry I ended up shrinking a few of my sweaters because I had no clue what was going on
  • I wasn’t able to drive because god knows where I would have ended up
  • Sometimes the sentences that came out of my mouth made no sense
  • Pretty sure I watched some movies, but no idea which ones

Doesn’t it sound like a fun two weeks! Thankfully I am much better now and slowly getting back into my normal routine. Although, it did take like a week to get the Christmas decor put away because I would get so worn out doing any little task that I would have to go lay down.

With the new year I am making changes to make sure I am healthier and happier. I don’t really want to stroke out because my blood pressure is too high. (Not really funny, but you have to stay in good spirits, right?)

Until Later!

L

We Survived Christmas (Kind Of)

My husband and I were pretty much completely crazy when we decided to host Christmas this year.

That’s right, my parents, sister, granny, and her grumpy husband made their way to Crystal Lake to engage in all the Christmas merriment. I mean nothing was bound to go wrong, right? Put a bunch of people, who don’t normally get along, in a house together for a week. Then throw in some alcohol and boom, all unresolved issues from the past quickly make an appearance. (What isn’t fun about that)?

The fun filled week started with my grandmother arriving and not having a hotel reservation. Basically she ignored the number I sent her for the hotel right next to my house and looked up a Holiday Inn. However, since she is not familiar with the area we think she made the reservation at some hotel in the middle of Indiana. (Yep, you heard that correctly). What followed was a afternoon adventure to 4 different hotels where she tried to find her reservation and then ended at the hotel I originally gave her where she finally booked a room. After the whole hotel room shuffle we came back to my house to relax and while unloading the car my grandma’s husband decided to pee in my back yard. (Apparently our restroom isn’t adequate).

The next day my parents and sister arrived with a car full of stuff my mother unloaded on us and their two dogs. After being in the car for 8 hours you can imagine that everyone, including the dogs, were in a fantastic mood. The first thing my mother dog did was come up to our bedroom and pee on the floor. What a welcome indeed!

Despite all the bickering and various puppy puddles around the house. Christmas was very nice. On Christmas Eve my sister smoked 4 chickens and served them with homemade mac and cheese, salad, asparagus, carrots, and jalapeno corn bread muffins. (Hello food coma)! After opening presents we went to Tom’s parent’s house for Christmas dinner and a night full of board games.

All and all it was a great Christmas. Well, until I ended up in the ER with pneumonia, bronchitis, and high blood pressure the next day…. but I will save that for my next post.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and happy 2017! This is going to be a great year!

L

Look I’m Famous

Hello out there, anyone frozen yet? It hasn’t really been too cold yet, but it is getting there and I for one am not ready. It’s only November and I am starting to get the winter blues.

As usual I have gone slightly MIA, but I have been busy with work and immersed in all the holiday merriment (aka eating way too much and drinking plenty of wine).  I don’t really have much for you today, but I thought I would share something pretty neat (at least I think it’s cool).  A few months ago my wedding photographer Karla Lacher, of Lachers Lens submitted our wedding photos to a blog for a feature. (BTW she was amazing. If you’re in Florida and need a photographer check her out!) Anyway, long story short her photos were accepted, the blog reached out to me with questions and viola mine and my husbands wedding is a featured blog post on a wedding website.

So without further adieu, here is our post on Confetti Daydreams:

http://www.confettidaydreams.com/seaside-florida-wedding/

I promise I will be back soon. Stay warm!

L

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Kansas girl that I am, the Kansas City Royals are my team when it comes to baseball. However, having lived in Chicago for the past 6 years I have to admit the  Cubs aren’t so bad. I mean, before last year, that the Royals had it bad, but the cubs haven’t won the World Series in 108 years! You can’t help but feel sorry for them. Anyway, all that being said the Cubs must win the World Series this year. Here are my reasons why:

  1. So my husband is in a good mood.

Ok, so that is the main reason the cubs need to win. My husband is a die hard cubs fan and I don’t think I can take another year of a cubs loss. Plus, you know 108 years is way too long. Here’s hoping to a Cubs World Series win!

Eye Opener

Disclaimer: Uncharacteristic Serious Post 

Yesterday I put my father on a plane back home to Kansas City. I walked him to his terminal, bought him a burger and fries for lunch, and waited with him until it was time to board. As we said our goodbyes, while I knew things would be much less stressful at home, I was sad to see him go.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but for those who don’t know my father has early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It is in the very early stages, he still knows who we all are, and he can still take care of he basic daily needs, but there are many things he is no longer able to do. He can no longer drive himself, he has extreme difficulty reading, he can’t cook like he used to, and he is much slower than he used to be. His short term memory is pretty much nonexistent, he asks the same question over and over again, and he has picked up some habits that he never had before. But thankfully he is still the same dad I have always loved.

Since he lives at home with my mom and sister I decided that I would take him back to Chicago with me after my latest trip to KC. My sister and mom needed some time to relax and get things done around the house so I thought he would enjoy a few weeks with my husband and I. While I knew he had some difficulties and could tell his memory was getting worse, from our regular phone calls, it wasn’t really until he was living with us for a few weeks that I realized how much worse he really is. I think part of me never really accepted the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and just kept the facade that everything was still perfectly fine. As I said before he isn’t completely helpless, but he does need help with a lot of things.

First off, I am going to say that caregivers are fucking SAINTS. I was only with my dad a few weeks and I was completely exhausted. Before work each morning I had to make sure he ate and took his medicine and then make sure his lunch was made so that all he had to do was heat it up in the microwave. I can’t even count the number of conversations we had about how our Keurig works. He really wanted to work it, he just couldn’t get there. Luckily I work from home a couple days a week so I only had to worry a few days that he was alright at home while I was gone. Totally nerve wracking. At least he had our two dogs to keep him company and I think they enjoyed his daily naps as much as he did.

Since he doesn’t get to do too much back at home, we tried to show him a good time. We went out to eat a few times, he hung out with my father-in-law, whom he really enjoyed, and we even had a cookout with some of our friends.

While we had a good time, I am ashamed to say that at times I was extremely annoyed. I knew he couldn’t help it, but at night after working all day sometimes I just couldn’t hear the same question over and over. Thankfully I have a loving husband who was there to help me.

The scary thing for me is that unfortunately, he is going to get worse. I know this and I am terrified to death. Right now he still knows who I am, but there will come a day when he won’t and that is something I can’t even deal with right now. I never thought that I would be taking care of my parents, parents are suppose to take care of you. However, this is where we are at and it is something I will gladly do.