Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mr. Bigglesworth

puppy haircut by Digital Heather
puppy haircut, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Bowie got a stylin' new haircut. I'm sure she's happy either way but her shedding is just off the charts. Call us cruel, but she looks adorable. She always reminds me of Mr. Bigglesworth when we pick her up from the groomer. As a husky she has a dual coat. So the top coat is very thick and coarse hair. The hair you see in the pic is very soft like down. She's so cuddly!

This is a Bowie's-eye-view of our kitchen, btw.

Monday, December 26, 2011

the afternoon

Lemon Tree by Digital Heather
Lemon Tree, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Our backyard has a lemon tree, pool, hot tub, and outdoor cooking area. It's still too chilly to enjoy most of that just yet. Even if it is Arizona. The pool is on the other side of the fence-- I'm not sure what Bowie is fixated with. It's easy to fall asleep out here during the afternoon when I'm laying in the sun with a sweater on.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 by Digital Heather
Christmas 2011, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Merry Christmas. It took forever to get Bowie to cooperate and make this pic happen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

boxes everywhere

Our tree is just a little table top guy this year because we actually just moved into a new house. More about that later.

The tree isn't much bigger than the menorah and is engulfed by "too-large-for-such-a-small-tree" ornaments. We'll pick up a fake one on clearance after the holidays are over. Trimming a tree is kind of the last thing I want to do right now anyway-- there are boxes everywhere. Plus who hates saving money?

Monday, December 5, 2011

drunk when I shouldn't have been

Christmas Class by Digital Heather
Christmas Class, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

I always thought Snooki had an "e." I laughed at the time, but now I wish I would have bought this. I can't deny that I watch the shore. It intrigues me. At the end of the day it's just a show about people that belong to a different circle or culture than myself. I guess that's why I find it interesting.

It's easy to laugh at these kids and call them idiots, but they're just people too. I'd probably say and do stupid things if I was living my golden years in front of a camera. I've been drunk when I shouldn't have been and gotten into a very public argument or two. I'm not a better person and they're not any less.

Wow. Christmas makes me very compassionate.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

on the other side

Jason bought me these beautiful half & half sunflowers for Thanksgiving.

It was our first T-Giving as a married couple and we spent it as just us two. We made stuffing and pumpkin pie from scratch. We cooked enough stuffing for more than 30 people, baking it in a roaster that usually holds a 30-lb turkey and we ate a very small turkey breast marinated in cherries and brown sugar. We bought a ton of sliced roasted turkey for sammiches, though.

The weather was so nice that we ate on our back porch by candlelight. It was quiet and romantic and just the way I wanted it.

We'll finish off the evening with a trip to the movies to see the new muppet film. I was hoping to be on the other side of the Black Friday chaos for once, but no one has any deals that I can't refuse. So, we'll see.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

compared to June

Never a dull moment, or so it would appear, but believe me, it feels quite ordinary.

With J out of town, Sarah and I drove up to the Grand Canyon and came back Sunday night (yes, this is old news). Monday we (S and I) drove out to Buckeye to spend time with Lizz and Patrick. We all made dinner together and played a board game that everyone says I hated, but this is unsubstantiated.

Tuesday afternoon, I woke up and positive that I was dying, I drove myself to the hospital in true Heather-fashion. Jason landed in PHX and came right to the hospital. I stayed for four days and am now home sweet home.

I have acquired new blood clots in my lungs, but they are very tiny compared to June. My left ovary is again a hotspot for homeless cysts. My blood was far too thick, somehow, and I'm happy to be alive.

This may set back the baby-making and if so, I'm understandably selfish and bummed out.

Oh. And we still need to go on our honeymoon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

an impromptu vacation

snowy tree at canyon by ceck0face
snowy tree at canyon, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Sarah and I took an impromptu vacation to the Grand Canyon this weekend. It was her first time ever seeing it, and my first time seeing it with snow!

It was super fantastic and it's got me psyched for the holidays (we don't get to see snow much in the valley).

Jay gets back Tuesday and hopefully we can finagle a belated honeymoon the following week.

More shots from the roadtrip or Rodetrip on my flickr.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ghostbusting is a stressful job

Just got this pic from the photographer and I love it so much! Had to share! The guy on the right looks like a pretty decent Dan Aykroyd but he acted a little annoyed when I told him that. Oh well. I guess ghostbusting is a stressful job-- especially with three mortgages.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Have you met my husband?

gazebo nuzzle by ceck0face
gazebo nuzzle, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Have you met my husband?

The last three mornings I have anxiously awoken, trying to remember what I have to accomplish for the wedding that day. When I realize the wedding has already happened, I experience this ping of excitement followed by a bittersweet drop.

I need something to do. I need something to plan. I planned the entire wedding and we made everything ourselves. Everyone says I should do this professionally and after much shrugging around, maybe I might.

I'm in a weird limbo of sorts. The wedding is over. We haven't honeymooned yet. Jason went back to work and then leaves for NY for a few days to attend the wedding of one of his groomsmen. We can't make a baby until we get the ok from the doctors. It's a weird funk that I wish I could shake.

Everyone keeps asking how it feels to be married. It feels the same. After 8 years, people always assumed we already were married. I'm happy we didn't hit ten because that's when people whisper and raise eyebrows.

I have to say, I do love seeing Jason wearing a ring. I also love the, "Have you met my wife" jokes.

Oh I know what I can do...I'm going to do all the holiday baking and decorating that I never could when I was in retail. It's going to be awesome.

Monday, October 31, 2011

my roaring 20s wedding

It's official!

After 8 years of dating and the last three engaged... We. Are. Married.

My husband is sleeping while his wife blogs about it.

This is a beautiful picture taken by my dressmaker, KTJean. She made my wedding dress(es) (I wore two with a costume change a half-a-notch less extravagant as Lady Gaga but twice as exciting). She also made my mother's dress (pictured here), as well as 5 beautiful bridesmaid flapper dresses for my roaring 20s wedding.

I can't believe it's over!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Next new job? Wife!

Haunted Paninis by ceck0face
Haunted Paninis, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This place was closed, so I didn't even get to enjoy their yummy foods. Couldn't resist snapping a pic though because that ghost is the cutest.

New York, Chicago, and Florida families coming in 6 days. Rehearsal and giant family dinner in 7 days. We say "we do" in 8 days. I need more time!

Odds and ends have kept me busy. Bought a very weird bra today. The woman who sold it to me struck up wedding talk with me and come to find out she wanted to get married at the same venue as us but said it was too pricey for her. Said the Dillard's woman to the unemployed girl. Not gonna lie. Felt awesome. I replied, "Oh that's too bad." Walked out of that store feeling straight up BALLA!

Sarah and I did some last minute antiquing and her creepy doll from the previous entry is still there. I wonder what he does at night and if their security cameras pick up ghosts. Jay and I saw the re-release of Ghostbusters in theaters last week. It was a very cute and festive and nostalgic last date. By which I mean our last date as an unmarried couple.

Unemployment is giving me the runaround and landing a job has been a task. I'm not 100% ready to work but could use the money. Next new job? Wife!

I wish I could slow down time and enjoy the final stages of planning. It's gonna fly by! Love you all. Whoever you are.

Monday, October 10, 2011

any day and every day

tim burton doll by ceck0face
tim burton doll, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Okay, so just for the record, it isn't really a Tim Burton doll, but it could be. It should be.

My best friend found this doll while we were antiquing and I'm really surprised she didn't buy it. She fell in love with it and he was only 15 bucks. I'm pretty sure he's haunted and if he isn't yet, it's only a matter of time. Had she bought him he would have become possessed by the spirit of the dead cat that bled out all over the back seat of her car. (This sounds terrible, but she was actually saving a cat that someone else hit.) It's a weird story, but this close to Halloween we can write it off as festive.

Nineteen days until my last name becomes considerably shorter. For years people have joked that my name was too long and for years I joked back that I was "working on it." Four letters beats ten any day and every day for the rest of mine.

I'm getting increasingly stressed out about stuff getting paid for and going as planned. I was a cucumber until recently. I used to watch Bridezilla's and laugh at how silly they got over minutia but I tried watching it last night and I felt anxious like I was watching a suspenseful thriller movie. My severance from my previous employer was smaller than I signed for because I didn't know that the IRS legally taxes it at 25%. It would have been nice for them to disclose that, although I guess they don't have to.


Friday, September 30, 2011

29 days to go

My maid of honor and I have hit up every antique store in the valley of the Sun. With 29 days to go and 22 more keys needed, we're heading to the white mountains in the next week.

The only thing left to do is pay the bills and get married. I'm not tired yet, so I'm wasting time online and refreshing my online banking browser window twice a minute. I should receive my severance package from my previous employer via direct deposit within the the next 3 hours.

The blogging job is going okay. I guess. It feels weird to do exactly this and get paid when people stop reading my words and start clicking ads. It's a lot like this blog with Google and Amazon ads. It's not bad. I've turned a lot of our wedding projects into DIY tutorials so it doesn't really feel too worky.


Nothing yet. I can't wait to have money in the bank and make the last 6 phonecalls to finish paying everything off.

My INR has been terribly low but we can't figure out why. I have a good balance of running around like a nut one day and playing video games the following day. Rinse. Repeat. So I just double up my pills two days a week now. My coumadin doctor expects my blood to be back to its regular thinness after the wedding.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the obvious

sunrise by ceck0face
sunrise, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Good day. Sunshine!

It's officially autumn. I've been able to open the windows in the early morning and late evening on two separate occasions now. It still reaches the triple digits in the afternoon, but oh well.

I started writing a blog for monies, so we'll see how that goes!

Jason's wedding ring came in the mail before mine and before he was home from work. I left it on his desk with a cute note asking, "Will you marry me? Check one" followed with a yes box and a no box. It was a neat surprise. I'm so antsy for them to call so I can go pick mine up! Same goes for my wedding dress.

45 days to go. I'm getting a little nervous. Just about everything getting finished on time and everything going perfect. I'm stating the obvious.

Oh, and of course, he checked yes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

just natural

desert rain by ceck0face
desert rain, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It rained last night. It was unusual because A) it's the desert and 2) monsoon season is over. Everyone panics and forgets how to drive when it's raining because it truly is a phenomena here.

I can't sleep. Little did I know that Jason and I were having insomnia in shifts. I forget how it came up but we discovered that it's been over a week since we slept an entire night together. He's fast asleep and here I am.

I had insomnia as a kid, but back then it was called, "Heather won't stay in bed and go to sleep when she is supposed to." That lasted until my teens, probably when I started taking medication for migraines. After that a restless night was rare, usually reserved for the night before something big or important, which is just natural.

My insomnia started back up in May, I think. Most of April and parts of May, I would sleep entire days away without even knowing it... the pain, the medicine, etc. Then I started taking melatonin. It helped, but not so much anymore.

I spent today swimming (almost 4 hours, actually) and watched a bit of the 9/11 shows on tv.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

lots of finagling

This is the nail polish I was talking about earlier. I first saw it on a nurse when I was in the hospital all hopped up on morphine and thought it was an illusion. I'm so in love with it and I'm worried it'll be a fleeting phase (merchandise-wise) and won't come back until I have teenagers, or something. I say this because when my sisters were teenagers in the early 80s, and I was just a little thing, we had those nail polish pens that only recently came back into fashion/production.

I went out with friends the other night for over-priced food and rigged video games. We went out with another couple, which we don't do too often, and we're much like Lily and Marshall in that episode of HIMYM, where they are perpetually trying to find the "perfect couple" to hang with. Yeah. Us too. Anyway.

I had a giant pimple above the left side of my top lip. I was so self-conscious about it, mostly because whenever it's close to the mouth I'm certain that other people will think it's herpes (if they even notice it at all). Typical girl. So I used some proactive concealer on it, which always just brings more attention to it. Then I had the amazing idea of putting the tiniest dot of MAC brow tint directly on it. Now this really DOES sound like an advertorial! It comes in a tube with a mascara brush and it's kind of a brownish red color that matches my hair dye. I didn't use mascara because all of mine are dark black and believe it or not, I don't own any kinds of eyeliner (I hate it). The MAC brow tint is actually almost the exact same color as the rest of my beauty marks and moles, so it worked out perfectly. I actually used the rounded tip of a bobby pin to apply and gave it time to dry. I also brushed a little loose powder over it after dry to make it look more natural / less dramatic. I just had to remember it was there and avoid smudging it off when I was wiping my mouth with a napkin or blowing my nose.

I started making the wedding programs tonight. It's proving to be a pain in the ass. The design/idea I had requires lots of finagling in publisher, but it'll be fine. They'll be heart-shaped on gold-painted tongue depressors that will double as fans. Very cute. Pics as soon as I make some mock-ups.

Friday, September 9, 2011

a few more

all the other kids by ceck0face
all the other kids, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Who is this girl with straight hair and not even the slightest inkling of an afro or afro-tendencies?

I've only ever had a few pieces of nice jewelry and now I have a few more. I've just never been a jewelry girl. I'm usually content with cheesy costume jewelry or nothing at all. My engagement ring was a small plain diamond and I loved it. I still love it. I just haven't been able to wear it since April because it stopped fitting around the time I got sick. So instead, I've been wearing a green amethyst ring (link to pic below) that J bought me for our first Christmas-ukkah that we lived together from a jewelry store in the mall that was going out of business.

My parents took me shopping and we got some very nice pieces during an even nicer sale. My parents are in no way loaded, and if it wasn't marked down as much as it was, I would have pretended to hate it so they wouldn't spend full price. But that wasn't the case, so I gleefully indulged.

More pics here.

The earrings are hiding in this pic, but are pearls that came in the most adorable oyster box. The necklace has a unique bow that is covered in tiny settings of marcasite which also matches a vintage-looking marcasite ring. I picked out the necklace and ring separately, at different stores, but when I got home I realized they matched!

Jason and I also bought our wedding rings. They're being sized, so no pics yet. But soon.

50 days and counting

And my sister bought me a ton of crackle nail polish and I am now addicted. See here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

a giant pool for sexual predators

braces by ceck0face
braces, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This picture was taken December 1, 2009, and is therefore old and old news. My hair hasn't been that long since then and my face looks very chubby despite the fact that I probably weighed 30lbs less in this picture.

I also no longer have those glasses or braces. I bought that key at an antique store when J moved here from NY and the other necklace is made out of dyed corn kernels. My mom bought it for me in the painted desert when I was a kid and the sign claimed it was real corn and crafted into a necklace by a real Native American. I took their word for it.

I bought the sweater shirt in Florida while visiting J's father--nowhere exciting, just Target-- and my friend John calls it my orphan shirt or inside out orphan shirt because it's inside out on purpose but he swears poor orphans made it.

I hurriedly took this pic right before going out with Sarah, my up-and-coming maid of honor, but I don't remember what we did or where we went that night.

There is nothing special about or behind this picture. However, this is my most popular picture on my flickr account. She has an astounding 2,723 views as of this second.

And for no reason other than the fact that the internet is a giant pool for sexual predators, swimming in their own and each other's semen. Having said that, I am repulsed but disappointed that I never followed through becoming a suicide girl. I'm so much chubbier now and in 55 days, a wife. Both very good reasons to put it to bed.

Speaking of. We ordered our wedding rings today. I hate paying money for something tangible but not ready to come home yet. I'll post pictures when they're done being sized.

I spent the rest of my evening watching my sister lose a bet with a slot machine and wondering why every girl in a black tank top always has an ugly back tattoo decorated with even nastier back acne (backne). At least where I live and the surrounding areas. Wash your back or wear a shirt. I'm a mean girl.

But, thankfully, I am not a bridezilla.

Also of interest, I am so territorial that I'm pretty sure I was an animal in my past life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

precious years

Sunset by ceck0face
Sunset, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It's a sunset, and I didn't even intend any of its ironic, fore-shadowy goodness.

Ready or not, it's the 31st. And this means at least 3 things.

Today is the day J starts his new job. We dedicated precious years of our lives working for the same company which he left in March and whom laid me off earlier this month. Since then he has been relentlessly by my side taking care of me since I fell ill in April. I'm not "better" but I'm better than I was and we need money for doctor and wedding bills.

Today is also the day my insurance ends. It's been a good run. I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared to death that something else bad is going to happen to me while I am uninsured. I hate to be so glum but I have a knack for "knowing."

Back in February, I was working late with an employee (who is also a close friend) and all of a sudden I turned to him and said, "I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen to me. I'm going to get sick and die at a very young age." It was creepy and I killed the mood and weirded him out. And here we are.

I've applied for unemployment and possibly social security. I secretly don't want any of it because I'd rather be sick and helpless and poor instead of sick and helpless with money to burn. I worked like a dog every day since I turned 18, and not working is just so foreign to me. In college I even had four jobs. I look at pictures from 10 years ago and can't imagine how I did it. Maybe after the wedding hoopla I can go to school a second time for a new/different piece of paper.

(Most people whom I have heard call diplomas pieces of paper don't have one because they dropped out and act like they know everything, which they probably do. I call it a receipt or piece of paper because I have one and it has done less for me than my paperless counterparts who never made it through the first semester and taught his or herself a skill and ran with it like html or photoshop and they will ultimately earn more paper than me. Ever. I sound bitter. I might be. Yeah, I am.)

I've had to cancel my high risk OBGYN consultation because the soonest they had back in June was Sept 1, which was fine then, but now is another story.

Today is also the last day to RSVP for my last-minute wedding that no one is coming to. The bright side is that if no one comes, it'll be overall less expensive. But it's not truly a consolation. There are friends I'd like to be with us that day, many of whom I haven't seen in years. Oh well.

I still have to go and edit the many nooks and crannies of my on-line existence to remove/update my work information. It'll be a pleasure because in the end I really got screwed. "Delete" and "backspace" can deliver some snuggly comfort to a nerd like me. Quitting may have felt better but this way I get paid a small portion of what I feel they truly owe me.

Sometimes when it's late (because if the sun is out, I feel like a criminal), I google-stalk people I used to know. Half of the time, they're better off than me and I go to bed with a chip on my shoulder that could rival the imaginary heaviness of my pulmonary embolism. The other half of the time, I turned out better than they did and I wish someone was awake with me for me to brag about strangers' misfortune and my theory of how people thought I'd turn out but didn't. Then sometimes it turns out they have pretty terrible lives with crappy jobs because they never went to college and never got married, but they do have children, so in my mind it's a bittersweet draw and I fall asleep wondering if something beautiful can emerge from the diseased shell that I have become.

And when it does, I can take a picture of a sunrise instead.

Oh. And. Well.

And I don't mean to sound so depressed. I don't think I am. I worry that someone is going to grab me by my chubby neck like a kitten and shake my blues and funk right out of my bones. And that's assuming anyone reads this because I have kept it a secret.

Unless. You. Are a google-stalker. Too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Small blessings

dragonfly by ceck0face
dragonfly, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

The biggest dragonfly I have ever seen paid me a visit tonight. It was larger than most hummingbirds I have seen and could probably eat my dog if it wanted to.

It's amazing the things I have time to do lately, and most of the time my body allows me to. I have been unemployed almost a week now. I made it a point to finish the week with a bang and try to overshadow the rest. I didn't want to remember it as the week GameStop broke up with me. So instead, I'll remember it as the week Jay and I saw the Decemberists in concert and ate TGIF twice in the same evening and shot bows and arrows. Small blessings.

A giant blessing was meeting my insurance deductible and not having to pay a penny of my 60 thousand dollar hospital stay. Although at the end of the month I will be uninsured.

I haven't looked for a new job yet. I am allowed to re-apply in 30 days if I wish. I haven't even signed my severance pkg yet. It was pesos. If I wasn't so poor, I'd throw it back in their faces just to feel good about myself, but can't afford to. I have fantasized about working at Hot Topic and Build a Bear, but I know I can do better. I'm a grown woman with college degrees. Le sigh.

In the meantime, we're finishing wedding stuff and have begun redoing some stuff around the house. Our videogame room is going to be a baby room now. No baby yet. Just preparing.

I'm chock full of diseases but trying to have the time of my life.

Monday, August 1, 2011

another passion

wedding envelopes by ceck0face
wedding envelopes, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This is a shot of our wedding envelopes-- all hand-decorated. We bought manila-style clasp envelopes, but recycled brown in color (like a paper grocery bag), from Staples (10 bucks for 100). We cut off the top few inches where the metal clasp is attached and folded them over to accommodate an invitation. We used a flowery decorative punch to make the flap closure a little cuter. I'll post a pic of a 100% finished one soon. The bride and groom and chandelier are all hand-stamped and the back of the envelope has some stamped peacock feathers too.

Jason and I have slaved at our kitchen table all weekend pumping out wedding invitations. I can truly appreciate the concept of an assembly line now like never before. We recruited friends and family members into our little sweatshop. Jason's mother sent us a portable 3D/blu-ray player which was a godsend in the hospital and we also used it in the kitchen to watch netflix and keep ourselves entertained while doing the same task over and over. (She also used her clout in the scrapbooking world to get us beautiful paper and lots of it and much more quickly than we could have locally.) The whole experience has been a lot of fun! We are very close to being done, but we have enjoyed it. We could have paid thousands (no we couldn't have afforded it!) but our invitations are incredibly beautiful and we'll always remember all the time and effort put into designing and assembling them.

I'll post photos of the invites soon. They are very scrap-tastic! If you told me a year ago that J and I would be making our wedding invitations out of scrapbook paper and using decorative punches and stamps, we would have laughed at you. I can't hide how fun it is. My friend Elysia turned me onto the idea for the invites and now I can't wait to go back to NY soon and scrap with Jason's mother and aunt. I have turned into one of those crafty wives.

We have spent weeks designing the invitations and now they're finally materializing. It's been a good project to keep me side-tracked and get me out of bed. I found out last week that the video game store which I manage is closing and I will no longer have a job. I have been on disability since April and will very soon be unemployed.

I go back to work the day after tomorrow and at the end of the week I will have a severance package and 5 years of memories. I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I joke about my diseases and say, "Oh well, I'll live" because I need to stay positive... but I'm still shocked and upset about work (or lack of work) and haven't reached that next level of enlightenment.

Bottom line, I'm lucky, even if I can't feel like it or believe it every day. I am alive-- which is no accident after what I have been battling. I have my family and Jason's family and a wonderful network of friends. We're going to have a beautiful wedding and start making beautiful babies and everything else isn't worth writing about at 2 am or any other time for that matter. I'll find another passion and pursue it just like I have in the past.

It'll happen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

only almost

lights by ceck0face
lights, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

I'm at a standstill.

It's a blessing and a curse.

I'll say more when I know more.

This year has almost killed me but only almost.

And our vacuum cleaner broke and Jason yelled at K-mart until they replaced it.

This is my life.

Monday, July 18, 2011

a cake and a rabbi

engagement blooper by ceck0face
engagement blooper, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This is probably the funniest photo taken during our engagement photo session the other day. I look terrified!

We found a priest, believe it or not. A priest and shoes have proven to be the most difficult items to check off for this rushed wedding scavenger hunt. And now they're both checked off!

We need a cake and a rabbi-- and that's it, believe it or not. We can't sit back and relax just yet, but it certainly has gone much more smoothly than I anticipated. We have actually done a lot in such a small amount of time.

I'm pretty bias, but this is going to be the best wedding J and H have ever been to. You'll see.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arizona marries New York

san carlos chandelier by ceck0face
san carlos chandelier, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

This is a chandelier at our wedding reception venue.

Everything is actually coming together nicely. It took me weeks to find shoes that I liked for myself and then another style for my bridesmaids so that they compliment the dresses as well as each other. My wedding theme and details straddle a fine line between being random and "too much." If that makes sense.

My dress was easy-- a little too easy. I knew the moment I saw it.

Getting a priest and a rabbi is another story. There's a reason jokes start with both and my wedding will be the punchline. Priests don't like marrying you outside of the church. Priests also don't like co-officiating. I've read online that rabbis will co-officiate at an interfaith wedding as long as the children are raised Jewish. One thing at a time. They make this dual-religion thing look so easy in the movies. Aside from some comments from our families sometimes, it has actually been very easy. 8 years of fairly easy. We'll figure it out.

This is what happens when Arizona marries New York.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

scientifically correct

birthday monkey by ceck0face
birthday monkey, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It's official. I'm 28. It's a bummer being sick and poor on your birthday, but hey. I could be dead or homeless, so I am thankful nonetheless.

For the first 6 months of the year J is older than me and for the remainder we're the same age. He will argue that he is always older than me, and is technically and scientifically correct, but you know what I mean.

This is a giant sock monkey my mother got me. My other soon-to-be-mother bought me a beautiful peignoir set that makes me feel very va-va-VOOM... which I haven't felt since April. My birthday consisted of a cat scan of my lungs, an ultrasound of my neck and arm, a free birthday lunch (technically we were taste-testing our wedding meal), finalizing our wedding flowers, a long angry nap, and a free dozen of krispy kremes.

I've still got 1.25 hrs left of my birthday, so the night is not young but neither am I and much like life lately, I dunno what else she might bring.

Happy Birthday to me. Life is good! I'm marrying my best friend and planning all the details is uber exciting.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

a little creativity

window with vines by ceck0face
window with vines, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Snapped this pic while taking a tour of a wedding venue this morning.

I'm still sick but wedding planning keeps me busy. If I list everything we've done or decided on, I'll feel accomplished, so here goes...

-ceremony venue chosen, deposit tomorrow
-wedding dress
-wedding dress deposit
-first dress fitting
-bridesmaid dresses almost chosen
-shoes chosen
-groom's attire chosen
-groomsmen attire chosen
-stylist and make-up artist chosen
-reception venue chosen
-food established and provided by venue
-centerpieces chosen
-photographer chosen
-wedding cake topper chosen
-first dance/song picked out

Still need to...
-taste test with chef
-pick wedding cake
-get a dj
-pick out wedding music
-hire mariachi band
-send invitations
-secure transportation
-visit flower shop
-decide birdcage VS veil
-find a priest
-find a rabbi

I'm probably forgetting stuff at the moment.

I was so stressed and thought I needed a wedding planner so I could just focus on my health. I got this! Everyone is a big help so far! I'll say your name so you know I mean it... Jason, Robin, Sara(h), Elysia.

Tackling some homemade invitations tomorrow and hopefully with a little creativity and dog shampoo, they'll be better than the ones I wanted for a thousand bucks.

More next time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

no longer easy

my disease by ceck0face
my disease, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It's a picture of a picture, but you get it. My endometriosis was growing on the outside of my intestines and caused them to adhere to my abdomen wall and uterus. This pic is pre-cauterization.

When I last updated, I could barely type. My surgery IV line hit a nerve making my right hand and fingers just about useless. I was devastated to have endometriosis but lucky the "cure" was as easy as taking birth control everyday. The day after my previous post I woke up trapped inside my body.

I couldn't move. I could barely breathe small short breaths. I could barely whisper. I laid flat on my back, not moving, for an entire day, waiting for it to go away. I was convinced I had pulled a muscle in my chest because with my tummy incisions getting out of bed was a task and I needed help. I finally agreed to let Jason take me to the ER that night for fear I was going to stop breathing.

It turned out my lungs were full of blood clots (pictured here). I was hospitalized for a week first in ICU then telemetry. It was terrible and I don't remember a lot of it. I'll have the clots for about three months. I have to take blood thinners everyday for the rest of my life. Birth control causes blood clots and may have contributed to mine, so I can never take it again. This means my endometriosis is no longer easy to live with or treatable.

I need to have a hysterectomy. They gauge endometriosis on a scale from 1-4, 4 being the worst. I am a 3. I'll be 28 in a few weeks and everything is about to change. My gynecological surgeon told us we don't have time and need to get pregnant as soon as my hematologist gives the green light. It's now or never. We've wanted children for years-- all the names are picked out-- just thought we had more time.

We were still saving up money for our big wedding. Our wedding will now be smaller and faster. In my last entry I was feeling so cheated by life or cheated out of a life, but I didn't know how good I had it.

My nightstand is an ocean of pill bottles. I'm a journalist who writes about how her body turned against her.
I'd complain now, and I guess I've earned it, but I don't have the time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

on paper

A year ago today, I was traipsing through the redwoods. In was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and I'd rather be there now. I had to lay flat on the road with my camera in between passing cars to shoot this and now I can't even get out of bed by myself.

I knew I had endometriosis before I had it. It took over two months and about twelve doctors before it was on paper. I've spent all of my money on this disease.

I have a pill for everything. A pill to poop. A pill to pee. A pill for pain. A pill to stop bleeding. A pill to sleep. A pill to stop throwing up.

I was so healthy and active. I miss living life.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

a twelve year old boy

biore strips by ceck0face
biore strips, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

Made some late-night strawberry pancakes from scratch for my last meal. Now I'm fasting for surgery in the am.

We biore-ed our noses and caught up on housewives of NJ because Jason and I are cute lesbians or teenage girls or both.

The hospital told me not to wear deodorant tomorrow. Don't they know I'll die? I sweat like a twelve year old boy. Tomorrow will be stinkier than usual.

Andy Milonakis was just in a commercial. I think.

Here goes...

Monday, June 6, 2011

talk to someone about it

having an operation by ceck0face
having an operation, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

I used to have a boring desk job that entailed more internet-browsing and homework than actual work. It was before myspace and facebook (2001) or anything similar or in between. I mostly wrote my papers for college and bought stuff on eBay.

Like my Mr. Rogers posters. I paid almost nothing for them and haven't seen them anywhere else on- or offline. I cheaply framed them and they're hanging next to our bed behind our door. If the bedroom door is open, you don't see them, and usually forget about them.

This pic shows all three posters.

My surgery is less than 30 hours away and I find comfort in his familiar sweaters.

If you can't read the poster, it says:

An Operation
is a way for doctors to fix something inside your body so that you will be healthier.

When you wonder what it's like to have an operation, it's good to talk to someone about it.

-Mister Rogers

And so. Here I am. Talking to someone.

I've been in the hospital, worn a cast, and will undergo a third surgery soon. That should unlock some kind of achievement or trophy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

almost nothing to it

"There's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster." Dr. Evil 1997

It's true. It's true 14 years later and let's face it, it's never going to stop being true. It's my background noise because nothing else is on at 6am. Even the TV knows it's summer and there are 100 better things to do. But back to the hipster bit...

An asymmetrical haircut might be too hip for my blood, but it was that or completely shave my head. You never realize how much energy and effort it takes to do daily tasks until you can't. And I can't keep torturing Jason with the "Honey, will you do my hair" guilt trips because he burns his fingers and has no idea what he's doing. He gets points though because how many men (who don't normally use styling tools or products on themselves or for a living or ever in their life) do you know who would at least try? <3

My hairstylist has wanted to cut my hair like this since I met her last year and I could never commit. The thought of only being able to style my hair ONE WAY and having it semi-permanently parted on always the same side wasn't something that appealed to me in the long run. Oh well. I did it. I'm pretty happy with it. It's actually self-styling with my natural curls and I have to do almost nothing to it, which is perfect for my current situation. From the front it looks like it's just half-up or half-falling out which is usually how I style it anyway. It's short in the back and off my neck so my Star Wars tattoo shows.

Contrary to everything in this picture, I am not an aging hipster. I think.

Friday, June 3, 2011

angering the internet gods

Frown is a four letter word? No it's not. Oh maybe they mean... No. It doesn't make sense no matter how you hear it. My Popsicles tell jokes, my milk finds kids, and my cereal used to give me prizes, but I'm not sure what angle/shtick my Jell-o has. My life will change in a few days, and I may have more time to fuel silly efforts like writing Kraft and asking what gives. Or, I may have to return back to my real world with my real job where calendars and clocks are reinstated.

When did conquering the internet and its many social media become so easy? I don't have to sign in for anything anymore. One or two sign-ins and their respective passwords work for everything and get me where I need to go. This internet monopolization makes life easier but probably more forgetful in the end. Like how having a cellphone negates the need to know my own number and I couldn't tell it to you no matter how many guns you held to my head or adjacent Jell-o pudding cups.

BUT THEN I had to rewrite this entire post because my flickr and blogger credentials did not recognize each other in the day time with their clothes on. It's a frustrating irony rather than a funny one and I apologize for angering the internet gods.

I will copy for safety and quit while I'm ahead...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

like... a woman

I love this picture. I took it last spring during a vacation I surprised my mother with. Same view at night.

It's a nice picture to look at because I feel so blah lately. Every day is sweatpants day. I haven't worn make-up in two months. I barely touch my hair. I have a patio chair in my shower because I can't stand long enough for even a quick one. I've never pegged myself high-maintenance, but at least then I had a choice. I don't feel like myself. I don't feel like... a woman. I feel like the mess of an adolescent I used to be before I learned how to control my hair.

I can hear summer beginning outside. The school buses have stopped. All of my paid vacation time has been used to fund my disability. Worst. Vacation. Ever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

to fulfill desires

friends for-- now by ceck0face
friends for-- now, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

I'm going to miss PHX comicon as well as E3 in LA. Tickets for both are very paid for and non-transferable or refundable. Comicon starts tomorrow and I don't think I'll fare well in a wheelchair with crowds. E3 begins the same day as my surgery. I'm pretty bummed out. Sure, I wanna find out what potentially is or is not wrong with my guts, but I was really looking forward to both of those events (first time at both). On a similar and side note, I may need to rethink my career. My current job (the one through which I have awesome insurance and is paying for my disability and my leave) may also contribute to said disability due to stress. It's an upsetting relief if that makes sense.

Two more weeks (at least). Surgery scares me but for different reasons. This is my second procedure, and although very different in nature, I don't feel like it is. I worry about waking up when I'm not supposed to and not waking up when I am supposed to. I could care less about the slicing and dicing. If you've never been put to sleep, the Dr./hospital staff may joke with you that you'll wake up at the end and ask when it's going to start. I shrugged this off, but it was probably the most truthful information anyone has given me during these two months. However, they told Jason to wait in the wrong room for me and when I woke up no one could find him and I was very confused. It was like a bad recurring dream, but from a movie instead. I dunno.

When I was a kid, I had two recurring dreams that lasted until I was about 12. Actually, I guess they were nightmares. Well anyway, one was about my mom and I grocery shopping. As a child, my mom reminded me every time we went somewhere to stay with her or hold her hand or I would get kidnapped or lost. She was being perfectly reasonable-- Adam Walsh was murdered two years before I was born and it changed how parents shopped with their children.

Anyway. At night I had these terrible dreams of being chased by a tall long-legged shadow man through a military base shopping commissary that was the size of a warehouse. The entire place was empty except for me and my dreaded shadow man. The building was silent-- no music, intercom announcements, register beeps, or aircraft outside flying overhead. Light bulbs flickered. I ran through an endless maze where every turn took me down an aisle filled with nothing but boxes and boxes of cheeseburger-flavored Hamburger Helper. Every shelf, top to bottom. He chased me as I ran and ran, looking down each aisle for my mom's familiar and distinguishable Afro or butt. In the dream, I left my mom without her permission or knowledge to get a box of Tuna Helper to fulfill desires of being both helpful (haha Tuna Helper and helpful, I never made that connection) and well a "big girl." Perhaps it's for this reason, I have always loved Tuna Helper and disliked it's hamburger counterpart-- most especially the cheeseburger kind. I'll eat it, but it takes me right back to my bad place.

Speaking of my mom, the snapshot is from one of her gardenia bushes planted even before me. My photography these days is limited to the interior of my house or if I can make the walk, my front- and backyards.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

a fleeting phase

Since I got sick, our dog, Bowie (after David), sleeps in our walk-in closet. She used to sleep in our shower when she was a puppy, then stopped. She usually sleeps on a couch in the living room that I'm pretty sure she thinks is hers. We joked that she sleeps in the closet to be closer to us cause she knows I'm sick. It's cute. Or it was until she chewed buttons off of one of my sweaters. More Bowie pics here.

Dislikes are more important than likes and generic likes are the worst.

Bowie dislikes Jell-o. She lets it fall out of her mouth and acts very confused about it. Bowie likes to rip the eyes off of her stuffed animals (so they can't find their way home). Her generic likes are generic and predictable if you've ever had a dog or seen one in a commercial.

I dislike the idea, thought, or sound of bones cracking/popping. I become unglued when people around me do it. It gives me the jibblies and I just have to shake it out and I make a noise like I just drank straight vodka. I dunno what it is.

I had to see a chiropractor today. The bones and muscles in my back are terrible from all the bedrest. My mystery disease is holding hands with nerves in my back and my upper legs. They play redrover and send lightning right over. If this is the luxurious chapter of my life where I was supposed to age gracefully, sign me down. The chiropractor did this Noob Saibot kombo on me where he broke my bones and I threw up (a little). I'm being a baby; I'll live.

Recently I really like to watch shows that old Heather hated. I'm not sure if it's cabin fever or the narcotics but I actually dvr Dog now. Yes, the bounty hunter. There are others, but counting Housewives of New Jersey and Dog makes two, and I think that's fair enough for now. You know too much.

Generic likes run rampant. I'm not sure if people are vague because they're lazy or vague because they're vague. Of course people like movies, and music, and sex. I've never known anyone irl or otherwise to say they hated music or pizza or sex. Correct me if I'm wrong but not just because you want to argue.

And why doesn't blogger ask me what my favorite television shows are? True, I've already told you some! Why am I so hung up on talking about tv. I must come across as so ordinary and typical. I am. It's just that I think the tv shows you watch say much more about you than a movie you like. A movie is a one time thing and can be dismissed as a phase or cement a new relationship and dismissed later when loves turns to hate. When someone close to me says they like a movie that I might think is stupid, we argue for a bit, I make fun, and then it's over. But when I find out that they like a tv show that I hate, I'm much more disappointed or let down. A tv show is an investment. A commitment. I dunno that you can easily dismiss a tv show as a fleeting phase-- unless you watched it as a child, tried to watch it again recently and couldn't even make it through half of the episode. True story. Four years ago. Popples. Couldn't make it through the carwash episode and I loved that episode as a kid!

Haha. There is so much more to life than this. It's funny because the world was supposed to end and I'm blogging about bad tv but what else am I going to talk about.

I spent the rest of my day looking up registered sex offenders in my neighborhood and reading all about the new Jesus.

All jokes aside, Star Wars is not a phase and Jango and Boba are better than Dog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

3 years ago

puffy cheeks by ceck0face
puffy cheeks, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

It's late and I can't sleep. I'm looking through old pictures.

I've been on short term disability for almost two months. I spend all of my time in bed without much else to do, so here I am.

We took this picture the day Jason asked me to marry him-- I can't believe that was 3 years ago almost to the day.

We've only recently started making actual wedding plans. Since we're both home all day (I'm not working and he stopped working to take care of me) we have watched marathons of shows about weddings, wedding dresses, wedding cakes, and the housewives of New Jersey (although the latter has no inspirational value, of course).

I wish I was back on Jones Beach instead of stuck in my bed. It's nice to catch up on video games, but I'd rather be healthy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I get it now

new telephoto lens by ceck0face
new telephoto lens, a photo by Digital Heather on Flickr.

There isn't a huge difference between digital Heather and analog or otherwise. Actually, there is no difference at all. It's only a matter of what names are left at the end of the day.

I'm not new to blogging; just needed a change of scenery. I've spent two weeks trying to think of a new name for a new blog. I've always firmly believed that I have nothing new to offer. It's all been said before. This became doubly true when blog names like "nothingnew" or "saidbefore" had already been taken.

About 10 yrs ago, I had a hard time understanding what 'blogger' was. I had a site made from scratch and did the coding all myself. I wrote blogger off as "something people use when they can't do it themselves." I was proud and now I'm just old and lazy.

I recently deleted a blog kept from '04 - 2011. I don't even know why I did, to be honest (delete it, not keep it, that is). I remember when I was 18 (also 10 yrs ago), I had a friend who broke up with his girlfriend simply because he didn't want to date someone as an adult whom he had dated in high school. I couldn't understand where he was coming from because the idea of a transitioning romance appealed to me. If I remember correctly, I called him an asshole, and stopped being his friend. I wouldn't even know the first place to look for him these days so I could send him a one-liner that reads "I get it now."

I don't want to have the same blog anymore. I'm different now. I'm older but surely not smarter-- just in a different place in my life with different glasses. That blog actually marked a new beginning. This blog, or the birth of this blog, isn't nearly as momentous.

Blogs all seem so phony these days. Is that really you? Are you really that beautiful? Are these really your words? I guess people might think I'm a phony too. I'm not. Exactly what a phony would say :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

About Heather

My name is Heather Rode.

I’ve lived in Arizona for 30+ years with no complaints. I’ve traveled to almost every united state, but Arizona remains my favorite.

I have a strong background in customer service, sales and management. I managed a very popular video game store that you’ve no doubt heard of before. After five years living that dream, I got a nice taste of the economy and was laid off. It was a blessing though because the politics that dictate the video game industry are a’changin’ and it was probably a good time to take a bow.

These days I’m getting fair mileage from my journalism degree. I blog and write for various websites as a freelance writer. Does this mean I do nothing all day and write in my underwear? Sometimes.

I married my long-time love in 2011. We started dating in 2003 so you could say we took our time! We live in a small Arizona town with our dog-child, a Husky named Bowie.

I enjoy all things pop culture. I’m happiest when I’m snapping a beautiful photo, working on a DIY project, crafting, and or baking/cooking. I cook/bake and craft something everyday. Life is awesome that way. You can check out my food and projects by clicking the DIY with Heather's Help tab at the top.

This blog is about me-- whatever that means or entails. I talk a lot about my health (I have level 3 endometriosis, a history of pulmonary emboli, and two blood mutations: factor 2 and lupus anticoagulant), my infertility journey, and my twice-fleeting struggle with my sanity when I attempted suicide and did a brief stint in a loony bin. Life in general. I talk about it because these are things that need to be talked about. I know what it's like to struggle in so many ways and my intent is to shed light and offer comfort because these plights are not just mine. My struggles are really silent epidemics that need to be addressed. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed. This is life. So let's talk about it.

You can always reach me by e-mail: