Thursday, May 31, 2018

While I'm waiting

I have a..... problem isn't the right word, but we'll use it for now - I have a problem with the way I live my life. I've always been like this. I wait for things. I prefer to say I look forward to things. I love looking forward to things. The idea of not having something to look forward to terrifies me. They can be big things - moving to America, going on a trip home, buying a house, going to Europe - or they can be smaller things - losing weight, fixing my skin, waiting for a new book to be released.

I have no issues with this waiting/looking forward to things. I quite like it. The problem part is when you're not in control of the thing you're waiting for. Money stops me from travelling, travelling stops me from buying a house because I'm spending all my money. Fixing my skin takes time, losing weight means more exercise and less bad food. I am in control of all of those things though. I can not eat the bad food, I can go for a run, I can stop spending money on stupid stuff so I can spend it on XYZ.

When it's out of my control.. I can't do anything. I don't like that. So I wait. I can't look forward to it because it keeps escaping my grasp and it feels like torture to look forward to something that's not happening.

^ all 3 cats in the same space without trying to each other had to be documented

When we first started trying to conceive, I didn't think I would ever really share it on here. People deal with it all the time and I was completely prepared for it to take some time, didn't expect for it to happen overnight. I am not talking about it now because I have been diagnosed with anything - I haven't. I am not talking about it because we've been trying for several years - we haven't. I am not talking about it because I think I am a special snowflake who is the only person to ever struggle to conceive - I know I am not. I'm talking about it because it's always on my mind,  and what's a blog for if not to talk about what's on my mind?

When I say it's always on my mind, I mean it's in my head pretty much all the time. I don't stress about it, so please don't tell me to stop stressing. I know people mean well when they say things like that, but if it were that easy, if that were the simple fix, I would be pregnant. I am not a stressed person, I do not worry about things like I used to. A lot of that has to do with my mum having a stroke - the shit that used to stress me out just doesn't bother me anymore. It put everything into perspective. So I do not think I am a stressed person. 

I have no idea what is wrong, if there is even anything wrong with me. All I know is that I am not pregnant but I am doing everything I am 'supposed' to be doing. I am not yet at the stage where I want to or feel the need to see a specialist, though I am nearing it.

I am not at the point where I begrudge other people for getting pregnant - I do not know their stories. I am happy for people when they announce their pregnancies, when they share stuff about their kids. But I am definitely at the point where it hurts more than I am comfortable with. That's not their fault, it's mine. I don't know how to stop the hurt. If I ever hurt or resent people more than I happy for them, I will have to do something about it. But I don't think I will because I can separate myself and my situation and be happy for them while being sad for myself. I used to seek out baby related everything, now I avoid it. Not people sharing their pregnancies or whatever, but I do not actively search for things like I used to. What used to be a fun way to pass the waiting is now another knife to twist.

I am not 100% comfortable talking about this - which is stupid, why are you sharing it on your blog Kristen? Because I feel like I need to. Not for anyone else. For me. Because this is impacting my life. I am sad. I am waiting. I feel like I am in limbo, waiting for this to happen. I am scared it won't happen. I know we are very early into this journey and other people tried for years and years. I don't want to act like my situation is as bad, but surely I can also say hey this sucks and I would like a virtual hug please.

When I am waiting for something and it feels so far out of my reach, I can get so despondent about it, so what's the point of anything when this one thing is never going to happen. I know that's ridiculous. I know I shouldn't feel that way but I am not sure how to get out of it. This is not exclusive to our TTC journey, I have felt this way about other things in my life. The difference is, I either got over it or accomplished the thing. This feeling has never lasted so long before and I am struggling.

I am not expecting something to magically make me feel better about this, but I need to focus on other things, I think. I will still think about this, but that's inevitable.

^ who needs a baby when I have a Millie

So that's the point of this post, to say hello, here's what's going on with me, this is why I have been such a (real life and internet) hermit lately because I don't want to people, so let's focus on some other things.

Other things:

- Paying off debt. I've been too loosey goosey with money lately. We are *this* close to paying off a big thing but other things have been neglected while we were paying off that thing, so now need to focus back on those things.

- Lose weight. I've been eating my feelings like you would not believe. I need to stop, I need to get back to the gym more consistently. I made a real effort in May and it 100% made a difference for me, mentally, emotionally, all the allys. I am unhappy with myself right now, so I would like to be happy. I don't think a number will magically make me happy, but fitting in my clothes and not feeling like a sack of shit should help.

- House stuff. House stuff is so fun! Because I've been too lax with money, some of the exterior things we wanted to do likely won't happen this year, but we've been doing other things inside. I didn't plan the big exterior stuff properly anyway, but we might still get a couple things done.

- Cut back on shopping. I am still comfortable with the state of my shopping addiction, but lately I've been making myself feel better by buying things. Not really clothes or whatever like I used to, but books, house stuff, makeup or skincare (because I 'need' it). I am not in danger of being super addicted again, but in order to pay off debt and do stuff around the house, I need to stop wasting money.

- Blog more. I like to blog. I like to read blogs. I cut back lately because I feel like I have nothing to say, but it's a way to entertain myself, keep busy and it's an outlet.

- Self care. Don't love the term self care, but love the idea of it. Nothing crazy, but taking the time to actually take care of myself will do wonders I am sure.

- Be positive. I am naturally a negative person. I've been working on being a positive person for like 6 years and I will always be a work in progress. I can feel myself slipping into negativity lately and I do not like it.

- Braces. Surprise, starting that awesome (expensive) journey at 31. On one hand I feel too old, on the other, I have (hopefully) a long time left with my teeth so... this should be fun.

- A secret trip. KC normally does not read my blog without my permission, so he better not see this. I have a surprise trip planned in July and it's the perfect thing to look forward to.

Maybe other things:

- Read less. I don't know how much I want to commit to this one, if at all. You all know I love to read and I read a lot. But I feel like I am using it as a crutch lately, I constantly have my head in a book and I ignore reality. Exercise, self care and being a productive human are all suffering because of it, but I am coping, so... I'm not sure.

I am all for feeling things and letting myself go through the phases of life naturally. I normally give myself grace to feel like shit and get over it. I am aware that I get in funks, I go up and down. I am fine with that. The reason I am trying to get myself out now is because I am not comfortable feeling this way for as long as I have and for who knows how long in the future. I don't want to put so much pressure on getting pregnant, like it's the magical thing that will make my life perfect and make me happy. That's too much pressure for any one thing.

I mentioned that I am not 100% comfortable sharing this or talking about it, and that is because I am sensitive and get aggravated when people say things even though they mean well. Unfair, I know. But also because I am just not normally one to share big things like this, I like to deal with them in my own little bubble. I have a friend I've been unloading all my feelings off on, and of course I have KC. It's good to have these people and this support, but I am starting to feel like a burden, you know? Or a broken record. I realised I need some help, some outlet, some other way to get this off my chest. So here it is, off my chest.

So yeah. That's what's going on with me lately. Hit me with your best self care ideas.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spotify: recently added vol. 2

Like I mentioned last time, I have 2 spotify playlists - one is my 'P&P' playlist which started off with the soundtrack from the 2005 version and now has a bunch of instrumental songs. I love listening to it during the week (Mon-Thurs) or when I want music in the background without words to distract me. My other playlist is my 'Fun' playlist which is for Fridays, the gym, driving etc. It currently has 980 songs, and it's quite a variety. I love coming across new songs and re-discovering old songs.

Here's a few I've added recently:

Work Song - Hozier y'all, I am hardcore obsessed with this song and I don't even know why. How did I discover it? One of my favourite authors, Kristen Ashley, mentions a lot of songs in her books. I normally know them, or if I don't, I check them out and move on. This one though, I listened to it, thought eh whatever, didn't exactly love the book and the song didn't speak to me. But then it was in my head and I listened to it again.. and again.. and again. Last Friday, I listened to this on repeat all day and that is zero exaggeration. I'm sure I'll get sick of it soon but there's just something about it I love.
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I'll crawl home to her

Theme from Rawhide & Everybody Needs Somebody to Love - from The Blues Brothers - 'nuff said, yeah?

(Marie's the Name of) His Latest Flame & Viva Las Vegas - Elvis - I had a bunch of Elvis songs on my playlist already but somehow I was missing these two! Viva Las Vegas is one of my 'guilty pleasure' movies, as in it's absolutely awful and I've seen it about 75 times and know the entire soundtrack off by heart.

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window - Patti Page - yes but how much is the freaking dog you guys. I've been asking that question my entire life. Also, I think it's funny that this is in a video game, one I know KC has played.

The Weakness In Me - Joan Armatrading - I remember this song from the 10 Things I Hate About You movie. I suck with remembering quotes from TV shows or movies and I'm always slightly amazed when people pull one or several out from a movie they saw 5 years ago. I can't even quote P&P or Beauty & the Beast and I've seen them hundreds of times (I can quote when they are on, like talk along with them, but not from memory). But I can tell you exactly what movie/TV show/TV commercial I heard a certain song in, even if it was years ago. I associate a lot of songs with movies or the like. I don't know why.

Love Really Hurts Without You & Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car - Billy Ocean - someone at work said something about get out of my car and I was like, like the song! and then obsessively listened to these two songs for 2 weeks.

That's Freedom - John Farnham & Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel - let me tell you how much I hated everything Australian when I lived there, now all of a sudden I'm like go Australia and the other day I added so many Australian artists and songs so I could cry at work (it was a good day...).

I even added Waltzing Matilda you guys. It was a homesick kind of day. Thank goodness I still call Australia home isn't on Spotify, otherwise I'd be listening and crying every day. As it is, I occasionally listen to My Island Home (Christine Anu's version) and the first part goes

Six years I've lived in the city 
And every night I dream of the sea 
They say home is where you find it 
Will this place ever satisfy me 

and I find it fitting I re-discovered it just after my 6 year expat-iversary.

And okay, I'm done now. Do you know any of these songs?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Books Lately

Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I had a bit of a lacklustre bunch of books since the last link up. One of my 'couldn't put 'em down' books was actually one I read a couple of months ago. Oh well, can't win 'em all. 

How to Walk Away - Katherine Center
woman comes to terms with her life after an accident, who & what really matters
I actually read this back in March but wanted to wait until closer to the release date to share. On her website, it says she writes bittersweet comic novels about how we get back up after life has knocked us down and that hits the nail on the head with this book. It made me laugh, it made me teary, it made me feel all the feels. It was so heartbreaking and realistic and I highly recommend. Comes out May 15th. Loved it so much I bought it via BOTM.
Received from Netgalley.
Arrogant Devil - R.S. Grey
enemies to lovers romantic comedy
It's no secret I am a huge fan of R.S. Grey and will read anything she writes. I enjoyed this one more than The Beau & the Belle, but not as much as The Duet. I find this one very hard to rate or talk about because I love her books, so I am biased, but compared to others I've read lately, this one didn't hit all the marks? But it did for an R.S. Grey book? I don't know. I'll just leave it at that, if this sounds like your jam, you can pre-order it for 99 cents (it will go up on release day, which is May 10th). It will also be on KU when released, if you have that.
Received ARC from author.

My Oxford Year - Julie Whelan
girl goes to oxford for a year, me before you-ish
I did enjoy this one - it's a 'romance' but that part is skipped over very quickly. The synopsis says 'for fans of Nicholas Sparks and JoJo Moyes' so that should tell you the kind of book it is, emotionally. Though I did enjoy it, something was missing for me. It felt like it was trying very hard to be the next Me Before You. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I didn't hate it.
Received copy from Edelweiss.
What Happened - Hillary Rodham Clinton
i'd wager the title and author make this pretty self explanatory
I'll be completely honest, this was a bloody hard book to read. It made me very emotional. I am not a citizen so I could not vote, but I do live here and the election showed me that I need to be more informed and involved. This was interesting, at times dry or boring but that's the nature of non-fiction for me. Most of the time it just brought up feelings I had the morning I woke up after the election. If you are interested, I recommend. 
The Dry - Jane Harper
man goes back home when friend dies, old mysteries resurface
Ok, this one is hard for me to rate or put in a category, I did read it super fast but only because I procrastinated and left it until the very last minute before book club (as in, I finished it at the book club meeting, oops). I was definitely disappointed and expecting it to be more Australian (pickup truck and liquor shop, really? womp) but I didn't guess a thing and it was well written. I'll be checking out the second, though I've heard it's not as amazing.
Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin - Mariana Zapata
slow burn romance, girl goes on tour with brother's band
So, when you read an older book by an author you are slightly obsessed with, your expectations will be way too high and you may also allow things to slide that you wouldn't from a different author.. or maybe that's just me. I loved this because it was MZ. It was not my favourite of hers, the writing was not what I've come to expect and there is no way anything will ever beat Winnipeg for me. That being said, it was cute and I liked it.

Had to share that photo I took while reading this book in case you missed it on Instagram - perfect timing Penny. 
Unbury Carol - Josh Malerman
girl dies all the time, husband buries her alive for money
I loved Bird Box - I thought it was terrifying, though I know a lot of people weren't fans. I had high expectations for this one, but it fell flat right away. I almost DNF'd but curiosity killed the cat and all that. Clearly, if the synopsis says something along the lines of 'girl dies all the time but it doesn't stick' I need to stay far, far away. It doesn't seem to work for me.
Received from Netgalley.

Still struggling through The Room on Rue Amélie. Also reading Truly Madly Guilty for book club.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

If you're a romance fan, here are a few I enjoyed recently:

Forbidden Hearts series (yes, the covers and titles are ridic - I kept putting them off for this reason, but these were so well written, diverse realistic characters, funny, love love loved them) The Kiss Quotient (Okay, sorry this doesn't come out until June, but trust - add it to your TBR. It was adorable, kind of like Eleanor Olipant and The Rosie Project - but way more romancey) / Pretty Face (I am officially a Lucy Parker fangirl)Rock Kiss series (again with the ridiculous titles and covers, loved these).

Alexandra, Heather and Rachelle read Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin along with Gina and I this month, I hope we all enjoyed the book! Our next choice is This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel if anyone wants to read it with us before the next link up.

TL;DR - I recommend How to Walk Away, fo sho. Unless you 100% hate any kind of even the smallest bit of romance, ever, you hard hearted grinch, you. But seriously. I recommend. Add it to your TBR, or don't. I dig it.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

April 2018 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Tomorrow is Oaks here in the 'ville and I am taking the day off for no real reason except why not. Fridays are my busiest day at work and because today is basically my Friday, I'll be a busy bee so I might not get to everyone's links but I will try. If not, I'll pop in tomorrow. Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it.

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March used to be the month where we started doing things with the outside world again, but I felt like April was that this time. But as always, writing it out never seems like much!

With the weather improving, KC and I have gone on a couple of walks and Chelsea and I have been hanging on our little porch concrete square thing.

We went out of town - near St Louis - to attend a family wedding. It was a ridiculous amount of fun. As always, after hanging out with that side we say to each other 'we really need to visit them more!' and thankfully we have another visit in June planned so we will be seeing them again soon. Except I will never go to a bar in Missouri again - ugh, there was smoking inside you guys. It was awful. Awful. And yes, we went to a bar after a wedding.

Then there was the KY Derby mini - I was hemming and hawing about signing up, but I did, I'm glad I did because I like the tradition of it, I think I've missed one since I moved here. Honestly, I probably should not have signed up because I was a little deluded thinking I'd been running regularly and it was a bit of a shit show after mile 9. I ended up run walking the last 4 and deserting my friend, but I didn't die, so at least there's that. I could barely walk the next day though, zero exaggeration. I was in so much pain. That's not normal for me and just goes to show how much I've been slacking on my running.

Then there was book club, a few gym visits (May is already looking better in that department, high five self), some house projects I took no photos of, the return of the caprese panini at Jason's, spilled tea I might have cried over and a free lunch at work.

Oh, and I hung out in my sunroom on the last day of April - It is the opposite of pretty or done right now, but I don't care. I have big plans for that room and can't wait for it to get hotter so I can hang out there more. The cats loved it too but I highly doubt they will enjoy it as the weather creeps up - except maybe Millie, she loves being with me even if she hates being in my lap or affection of any kind.

If you'd like to link up, please do so below.

So, that's what's new with me, or rather, what I did in April. What's new with you?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 - 5/12 - May Goals

And we are done with April! It started out cold and miserable, but we had a few nice days towards the end... and now it's supposed to thunderstorm Thursday and Friday. Sucks for people going to Oaks, but Derby day looks nice. I'm not going to either this year - we went for 5 years I think and it's just far too expensive to go each year. I'm sure we will go back again one day, just not anytime soon. Anyway - the weather is finally starting to get a bit nicer so that means open window season and the cats love it. I love annoying them by taking photos while they are trying to enjoy themselves.

April Goals:
You know what, I'm not even going to recap as I failed them all (go me!).

Moving on.

May Goals:

- No solo eating out, no buying books, no unnecessary expenditure.
We have a few big expensive things coming up and wasting money on jimmy johns, books, clothes, etc is just stupid. Must stop. I have $11 in no rush credits, I will allow myself to use that, but other than that, NO BOOKS KRISTEN.

- Work out 4 times a week + eat healthy.
I know my previous goals were 3 times a week and I was failing that, so it doesn't make sense to up it, but I'm trying it because I workout most Saturdays and Sundays, which means to meet the 3-per-week goal, I am lazy until Thursday and then I think screw it, the week is almost over and I'm lazy until Saturday. So I'm going to try 4 times per week in the hopes that it gets my ass out of bed by Tuesday or Wednesday. I know I shouldn't think in weeks like that, more like days, but I do, so whatever. As for eating healthy, I just need to stop eating chips and candy at work, what we eat at home isn't too bad I don't think.

Just a quick reminder about the link up this Thursday if you want to join!

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So just two goals this month, thinking if I focus on those two things - not spending money and being healthy - I might actually achieve them, and they are the most important things to me right now. No big deal if I don't read an ARC or paint my nails. Which I'm still going to do, of course. They just aren't goals right now.

In other news, we bought a grill this past weekend - online, it hasn't arrived yet. We had a small charcoal grill but this will be our first grown up gas grill. We are not big grill-er-out-ers (words, I'm good at them) but want to be, hence buying a bloody grill. I've mentioned it a time or two, I'm not the biggest fan of meat but KC is, plus I know you can obviously grill other things (veggies, fish?) so let me know if you have any absolutely amazing recipes or whatever for things you grill.

On another note, I just said grill so many times and it's one of those words that I've just adopted the american version. If  I say barbecue, people think I mean barbecue like the sauce/type of food like pulled pork, when I mean it in the 'throw another shrimp on the barbie even though we don't have bloody shrimp, we have prawns and I've never bloody cooked them on the barbie, the barbie is for snags and steaks, fair dinkum' kind of way.. Ha, how Australian can I get in one sentence. Snags are sausages by the way.

Look at those cute little flags and tomato sauce instead of ketchup. Man, I miss Australian sausages. They just aren't the same here. Not complaining, just saying I miss them.

Anyway, it's silly to keep using words you know people don't understand, and eventually it starts making sense to you too, you know?

So, grill/barbecue recipe ideas? Hit me.