Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Maybe I'm Being Judgy, But....

Is it just me, or does it seem unreal that some people are past level 50 on Candy Crush and up into the 80's??  Don't get me wrong, I was a very dedicated candy crusher for a few months there too.  I waited for my lives when it told me I needed to wait, and I cheated the system just enough to not have to pay for any future levels, but once I hit about level 45, I was so done.  

How are these people doing it????

Our Fridge Is Massive...

So our fridge is huge.  Like, if you come over to our house you'll see that it sticks out into the middle of the kitchen because it's so big there isn't enough room to open the door if it's pushed all the way back to our wall.  It's huge, and Dave resents that, but I love having so much space in there for everything so I still love it.

Fridge and oven pulled out to make room.
We got our oven delivered yesterday and it was perfect!  I loved it and was so excited to see it under the new microwave.  Unfortunately, when the guys went to slide it in its place, it didn't fit.  It was about 1/8th of an inch too wide on the top so we couldn't make it fit between our fridge and countertop.

I just about had a heart-attack, until one of the guys suggested we take the baseboard off of our wall and push the fridge over as far as it would go.  We hoped that'd give us about 1/2 an inch which would be more than enough to make the oven work.

So we set to work pulling the fridge out and making a space large enough for Dave and a few small tools to fit behind it.  He started hammering a flathead screwdriver into the baseboard and it popped right off after a few minutes.

When we pushed the fridge back in it didn't sit quite flush with the wall on the side so I was worried it still wasn't going to work and I was right.  We were still over by about 1/16th of an inch.  Luckily, we were able to simultaneously force the fridge to the right while shoving the oven in it's space just long enough to get it securely between the fridge and counter.  After that it was easy.  We just slid it back far enough that the top of the oven had the space that it needed against the wall and we were golden.

We absolutely love it!!  Our fridge looks way out of place now since we have all stainless steel appliances, but I love it and we didn't have to pay for it, so I have no qualms about keeping it as long as I can.  I can see Dave sabotaging it to get our appliances to all match though--the white mixed with stainless might be too big of a test for his OCD...I'll keep you posted ;)

Notice the fridge dominating our kitchen.

Um...coolest glass top ever, yes?  You can SEE the coils underneath!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls, Stainless Steel, and Sparklers...

So I am now two weeks post-surgery and I'm still doing well.  Unfortunately, I was a little too optimistic about the recovery in that first post most likely because I was living on Percocet (spelled correctly in this post as opposed to the last one).  Once I weaned myself off the heavy pain meds I had some more ups and downs.  It's hard to tell if the pain I sometimes feel now is just from the surgery recovery or if it's the same chronic pain as before.  It's definitely in the same place and feels similar, but they did a lot of lasering and cutting right there, so it could just be the healing that's hurting.  Only time will tell, I guess.  I've been up and moving around now for about a week, so that's been great, I just need to not overdo it because I still get tired so so so quickly.

Other than surgery, though, let me catch up on the happenings at the Rackham household lately.  That first Sunday I stayed home from church because I didn't feel up to it yet, but something crazy happened that night--Dave played a board game with me!  This is a testament to how not-well I was feeling because Dave hates playing pretty much all games except Settlers of Catan--the one game I don't like.  We played Monopoly and he actually enjoyed it, except that I won, which was unfortunate for him, but in general it was a positive experience I think, so maybe I'll get him to play with me again sometime.  (Unlikely, but there's always hope!)


Once Monday rolled around I couldn't procrastinate my research any further, so I buckled down and spent lots of hours researching all about attachment theory and where it came from and thinking about how I'm going to attack my thesis.

I really enjoy reading all these articles and studies.  I was talking to my older sister the other day and she was talking about how they're hard to comprehend and take forever to read because they're such a different writing style than we've ever read (as English and Humanities majors), but it really has started to come so easily to me.  I guess it's just that practice makes perfect.  I absolutely love being able to read the actual statistics from the study and draw my own conclusions about it rather than having to rely on third party summaries and often inaccurate predictions based on the research.  It makes me totally jazzed to start my program in the fall.  I can't wait!!


On Wednesday we had Pioneer Day here in Utah.  To be honest, I don't think we all really know what we're celebrating.  It's sort of turned into another 4th of July here.  There are American flags in everyone's yards, fireworks all night long, and everyone gets the day off work to go do the same things we do on the 4th.  It was fun, but I don't really get it--I thought we were celebrating our pioneer heritage and how a lot of our ancestors trekked across the country to the Salt Lake Valley.  How does the American flag fit into that?  (Maybe just because America was the one place we could practice our religion freely?)  Nevertheless, anytime fireworks are involved, I'm game.  We went over to Russ and Annie's apt. and ate the biggest snow cones of our lives, watched Top Gun (I'd never seen it!), and shot off some little fireworks.  It was a blast, and we actually had some pretty good little fireworks for barely spending any money on them :)  We loved the sparklers we got too--they weren't the kind that shoot out, they just kind of crackled and popped, so cute.  

Annie and Russ
Dave and Me

We were shouting spells at each other like the true
nerds we are, and I said "Expelliarmus!" and Dave kind of
let his arm fly backwards and no one understood what
had happened until he explained, "I was being disarmed!".
Here's me cracking up after he explained what
he'd been thinking.  

So all things said, we had a good Pioneer Day.  Dave got to go fishing all day long and caught a few on the Provo River.  Oh, and sorry about the poor photo quality^^.  It was the best our little iPhones could do.  


So here in our University Mall in Provo they put a new Cinnabon in and the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls assaults you every time you open the door to the mall so it's nearly impossible to resist buying one.  Even though I frequent the mall as little as possible, it's still absolutely ridiculous to spend so much on just one little cinnamon roll. 

So I've been thinking about how I can fix this dilemma I'm in and I started looking all over the internet for a Cinnabon recipe.  My mom has one that always works perfectly for her, and they really taste just like Cinnabon, but I can't ever get them to tun out.  So I decided I'd branch out with a new recipe.  After a while of searching, I felt pretty confident that this one would be great so I set about making them.  

The dough turned out perfectly and they rose exactly like they were supposed to (up, not out), which is rare for me, and I was so excited to start baking them and put them in the oven.  But after about 30 minutes of no cinnamon roll aroma filling our house (which is half the point of making them at home, right?), I felt the oven and I could rest my hand on the grates...it was supposed to be at 400 degrees!  I turned it up even higher to see if that would help and let them go for about 15 more minutes.  When I realized our oven was broken I was distraught.  My perfect cinnamon rolls had been sitting in a lukewarm oven for 45 minutes just drying out and falling.

I called one of our friends from the ward and asked if I could use her oven.  She was very kind and let me bake them at her house, which gave her house the delicious aroma, haha.  So they cooked perfectly in her oven, but like I said, they had sort of shrunk in size because of sitting so long in the warm oven that dried them out.  They were still salvageable, though, so I just smothered them in cream-cheese frosting and they turned out alright.  I just wish our oven had broken on anything other than cinnamon rolls.  They take literally all day to make with all the rising and sitting and rising again and sitting again.  So to be ruined right at the end was just tragic.  


Come Saturday, my mom's sister Kendra and her 4 boys were here in Utah and the oldest (16 I think) wanted to go climbing with Dave so they climbed in the morning, and then we went looking for ovens when they got back.  We took a break in the middle of shopping around for dinner with Kendra and the kids at Texas Roadhouse.  It was delicious and Kendra was treating as a thank you for taking Tanner climbing.  As we left Dave told me, "I've been taking the wrong people climbing!   I need to take people who are going to take us out to dinner afterwards!"  Haha, he was joking, of course, but it was really nice of Kendra to do that for us and it was fun to catch up with them.  

Anyway, back to the ovens, we figured out the problem with our oven--the element had burnt out--so we thought, great, just a $40 fix!  But after googling it for a while, we learned that with our specific oven once it burns out, it burns out basically every year after that.  We need a new oven anyway since this one is impossible (undercooks and overcooks almost everything) and we hate the coil stovetop.  So we looked around yesterday and found a great deal on one that's stainless, has a glass stovetop instead of coils, and is actually a true convection as well!  Needless to say, I am one excited girl right now.  It's supposed to come later today, so I really hope it looks good in our kitchen. 

It looks huge in this picture for some reason, but in real life it doesn't--
and our new oven matches it,
so it'll be better once that's under it instead of this old one.  
While we were out looking, we also found an over-the-range microwave on an amazing sale.  We'd seen it at other stores and online already for about $150 more than we found it for at the Sears Outlet, and then when we went to buy it, they gave us another 20% off!  So it was really an amazing find, and it's a good quality one so it shouldn't break on us!  We installed that late Saturday night and just about killed ourselves.  But it was so worth it.  We have counter space!!  (Something we seriously lacked before with our counter-top microwave)

While buying a new oven and microwave is a pretty steep unexpected expense, Dave's work made a mistake in his paycheck for the last couple of months so we had an extra $500 on this paycheck that we were able to put towards it.  We were very grateful and humbled once again to realize that the Lord is constantly watching over and providing for us.  


Please excuse the horrible picture.  No make-up
and running back and forth between houses
for the cinnamon rolls will do this to you. 
I forgot to mention the paint!  So we went over to our friends Jordan and Maddy's house (same girl who let me use her oven for cinnamon rolls) and she had painted her living room a beautiful green-blue-teal-ish color and we loved it.  Since paint colors are impossible to pick I decided I was going to just steal her color for my study.  I've been wanting to paint it differently than the rest of the house but haven't had the gumption to start trying new colors.  It's called tranquility and it looks lighter in real life than in this picture, but after the cinnamon roll fiasco, we painted the room really quickly before heading out to Olive Garden for dinner with Dave's grandparents who were in town.  

We didn't paint where the ceiling meets the wall because eventually we'll be putting crown up there so it doesn't matter if it's painted or not yet.  When my mom saw the color she was like, "That's Tiffany Blue!  Just like your wedding...wow, you really like that color, huh?".  And she's right!  I love it :)  And eventually that room will be a nursery, so I figure it's fitting for a baby, too, right?


Now that I'm writing all this down, no wonder I'm still in a little bit of pain.  I've hardly given my body any time to relax and heal itself!  Hopefully this week will be a little less crazy...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How We Celebrated Our 11 Months...

Beautiful cheerful flowers and some bread and soup
from Kneader's from a lady in my Relief Society
presidency.  So thoughtful!

Today it has been 11 months of marriage for Dave and I.  We don't get too sentimental about the days, weeks, and months we've been married, but I just remembered that the 17th is our date so I decided I'd mention it.  Today we celebrated (unknowingly) with lots of Perkoset, Ibuprofen, and Benadryl, water, jello, and crackers, pillows, blankets, and naps, and I enjoyed some beautiful flowers from family and friends, a walkie talkie system instead of a bell, and some of my favorite candy--See's Chocolates.

Annie and I just rested this morning while
watching some shows on my laptop.

Modern medicine at its finest!
Dave was so kind to go get my See's for me!!!  Gotta love those Butterscotch squares!
Why did we celebrate in such a strange way, you ask?  Well, yesterday (the 16th of July) I went in for an exploratory laparoscopy to see if we could definitively diagnose endometriosis and hopefully remove it if we could see it.  The surgery took place early in the morning so we were basically up and going from 6:30 am to the time we got home from St. Mark's in Salt Lake at 4:00 pm.  It was a huge success and we are so so excited about what they were able to find!

We had a private room the whole day at
 St. Mark's Hospital.  It was so nice :)

For a while now I've been dealing with unexplained chronic pelvic pain and it was pretty mild until this last year when it started to become debilitating after long days of sitting.  Our first year of marriage has included, among other things of course, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, many hormone therapy treatments, trips to the emergency room and urgent care, and all to no avail.  After hoping to find problems with any other organ (colon, appendix, kidneys, etc.) in my lower abdomen, we finally resigned ourselves to the diagnosis of endometriosis a few months ago.  Unfortunately, I didn't respond well to the conservative hormone therapy treatment they tried which could have meant one of two things--either I didn't actually have endometriosis and they didn't know what was causing the pain, or my endometriosis was progressed enough that hormone therapy wasn't going to work.  I'm about to start a program that will lead me to a career of sitting all day talking with clients, and since sitting is what causes me the most pain they decided it was worth going in for surgery to look around and see what was going on before the school year started.

Horrible picture, but had to prove it really happened, right?

I loved my doctor and he took a bunch of pictures for us during the surgery to show us what he found.  I had a good amount of endometrial cells in my pelvic cavity and around (but not on) my other organs, and he was able to laser some and cut out the rest.  They seemed to be in the locations corresponding to my recurring pain so my doctor is very optimistic that his removal of the tissues will help with my pain.  The best news of all yesterday was that my ovaries and fallopian tubes looked completely free of any endometriosis so in theory we shouldn't struggle with infertility issues!!  This was a huge relief as one of the major symptoms of endometriosis is difficulty conceiving.

Dave concocted the idea of using walkie talkies to
get his attention when he was in the other rooms of
the house and I was in bed needing help.  
But I had a pretty sweet setup so we
didn't have to use them very often.  
I'll be on more hormone therapy from here on out to help prevent the endo from coming back and shrink any remaining cells that weren't visible to the surgeon, and then just regular birth control until we are ready to start our family.  I couldn't be happier with the results of the surgery, and I was crying tears of joy yesterday when he told me they were able to see and remove some of the adhesions.  It's just very hard to feel like your pain might be all in your mind because no one can find anything physically wrong with you.  It's such a great feeling to know that there was a reason for it all!  I wasn't making it up!

We are hesitant to hope that the pain will be completely gone just because of this surgery--endometriosis tends to regrow itself with time, and there are lots of muscular issues that have occurred secondary to the growths I'll need to work out with physical therapy--but I have such a renewed sense of hope about a pain-free future :).

Even with all the Perkoset, Ibuprofen, Jello, naps, and other fun things I mentioned above, the recovery hasn't been bad at all.  My mom, Annie, and Dave have been taking it in shifts helping me and the pain is pretty manageable.  I'll take a surgery with three tiny incisions (laparoscopy means they just use a tiny scope to get a look around and laser or cut) in my abdomen any day over oral or sinus surgery.  So much less painful!

Beautiful flowers my mom brought me because Dave didn't have time to
pick any up.  

Anyway, so happy 11 months to Dave and I!  Here's to a renewed sense of hope and comfort due to the miracles of modern medicine and great doctors who listen :)  Thanks everyone for your kind wishes, prayers, and thoughtful acts that have made me feel so loved the last few days.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Day of Phobias...

For those of you who might not know me well enough to be familiar with my quirks and idiosyncrasies, let me start off by informing you that I am a person of extreme reactions.  Not necessarily extreme emotions (though I'm sure I could make a case for that too), but mostly extreme reactions to things that happen to me.  I've already shared my phobia of needles due to my fainting a few years ago, but I've never mentioned how ridiculous I get when it comes to bees and wasps.
Don't be fooled by this happy little cartoon--I was just
too scared to look up images of real bees on google.  
I've never been stung, which I'm sure contributes to the irrational fear, but regardless, I have a really difficult time staying in close proximity to bees or wasps for more than about 10 seconds before having to choose between hyperventilating or running away.  This seriously embarrasses Dave on a weekly basis because it doesn't matter where we are--we could be attending a luncheon with the president at the white house for all I care--when a bee comes near me I release involuntary gasps and mini-screams, start swatting at the air, and jump up and down or run around in circles like I've lost my mind.

None of this really mattered, however, until I planted my own little garden in the front of our house.  We've had this dreadfully dead-looking planter full of dirt in the front since we moved in, and I'm always a little sad when I pull up to our house with absolutely no color except the green of the grass.  But this weekend my mom helped me plant some annuals just to have something in there until the snow starts to come again.  We picked some pretty shades of pinks and purples and I couldn't tell you the first thing about the kinds of flowers we chose except that the salvia pots were covered in bees when we bought them.
The dreaded salvia.

Now, I noticed this at the nursery and made a snarky comment about not really loving that about them, but the tall purple stalks of flowers seemed so perfect for a border in the back of the planter that I couldn't resist.  (Plus my grandma told me they'd be hard for me to kill, and let's be honest, I needed resilient plants.)

As we were planting the flowers, all was well, and actually for the first few hours all was well, but when I went out to water the plants that first evening, they were covered in bees!!  Of course, when I say covered I mean there were probably about 5 or 6 bees total in the garden.  But still...

I decided I would just be brave and hold the hose a safe, good distance above the garden so as not to get my hands close to the bees at all, and it worked pretty well.  At least it worked until Dave went out later in the evening, came back, and asked with a tone of mild accusation mixed with curiosity, "Um, why is there dirt all over the sidewalk around the planter out front...?"  I very casually walked outside with him acting mildly surprised, but upon seeing how much dirt had splashed onto the sidewalk realized that if I continued to water so high, it would do that every time and the beauty of the flowers would be overshadowed by the dirty/watery/muddy sidewalk.

I resolved to do better today, and after facing a pre-op appt. by myself complete with blood-drawing and absolutely no sign of fainting, I thought I could be brave enough to water the plants at a close distance today.  Unfortunately, my extreme reactions kicked in and I just couldn't do it. I ended up splashing probably more dirt and water onto the sidewalk than I did the first time because I freaked myself out by being so close to the bees!

I'm sort of stuck now.  I don't want my phobia to be the death of my beautiful new garden, but I'm so ridiculously terrified of these bees, what am I supposed to do?  Maybe I should invest in a beekeeper's outfit for when I need to water my flowers?

Thanks for the help Mom!!

 All things said:  I still absolutely love having flowers to come home to, and I have to admit that sometimes I just walk outside so I can look at them.  It really makes this house feel more like a home :)  Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

LOST Update...

Well, my last post left off with quite a cliffhanger about whether or not I was going to enjoy LOST.  So I'm here to report that I did enjoy it; but I only got about halfway through Season 1 before I started having nightmares.

I've had really horrific nightmares (maybe they're actually night terrors) for about 6 years now, but they got a lot better when I got married.  I stopped watching scary movies and TV shows, and I started sleeping cooler and they almost disappeared.  When I woke up screaming bloody murder at my family's vacation last week and almost gave Dave a heart-attack, however, I figured I needed to stop watching shows about freaky islands with evil things that kill people almost every episode.  So, unfortunately, I've had to leave Sawyer, Kate, and Jack behind for the moment and hope that someday in the future I'll be braver (or my subconscious will chill out) and pick them up where I left off.

The end.