Blog Archives

The Bow Tie

For nearly as long as I can remember, my dad would comment on how cool it would be to have a REAL bow tie. He once said that he thought being able to tie a bow tie was a skill that classy men had and seemed to be a dying art.

My dad didn’t own a bow tie when I was a kid. As my dad’s 50th birthday approached (January 28, 2011) I was in full-scale wedding planning mode and decided that I wanted to give my dad that opportunity to be the man in the tuxedo, tying a real, bow tie.

I searched a few stores and ended up in the men’s department at Macy’s. They had a wide selection of bow ties, including the classic, black satin bow tie. The cashier asked me while ringing up the bow tie, “does he know how to tie this?” He didn’t know who it was for, what it meant or any of the back story but I answered, “He will.”

Dad’s surprise party 50th birthday party had to be changed from a surprise party in Ohio to a planned party at my parent’s home in Pennsylvania because my dad’s cancer treatments were taking a toll on him, making travel tough. For his birthday, I gave my dad his bow tie and a link to a how to video on YouTube.

I’ll never forget that smile when he opened his bowtie

A week or so after his birthday, I received an email from my dad with several in-progress photos of him tying the bow tie. Read the rest of this entry

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Mother-in-Law Drama

During the three years that Brad and I dated before he proposed to me, I was never asked by anyone if I had problems with his mom. Likewise, Brad was never asked if he and my mom had issues. But after we announced our engagement, we discovered the social norm of mother-in-law speculation.

I don’t know how it got started, but I know that everyone kind of just expects to have issues with mother-in-laws. I think that more often than not the expectation of problems causes problems.

There are people out there who have legitimate conflicts with their in-laws that are over real issues, but I feel like this isn’t the norm. I know more couples who have excellent in-law relationships, even though there are a few bumps in the road (as with any relationship) it overall works out.

It seems like a rite of passage for wifehood to swap MIL stories with her girlfriends. Sure, everyone has a story of that crazy thing she did or said, but most of the time they aren’t the horror stories that are sometimes embellished.

So here’s my challenge in consideration of Mother’s Day this weekend, try to stop perpetuating drama when it comes to in-laws.

My mother-in-law is nothing like my mom… and that’s 100% okay with me. She raised my husband and for that I love her. If my husband and I had moms that were alike, we wouldn’t be the same people that the other fell in love with.

Next time something your significant other’s mom does makes your eye twitch, take a second and a breath and remember that you love their child and the part she played in his or her character.

On another note…

I’d like to wish an early happy Mother’s Day to my own mom who brought me into this world and played a huge part in the woman and wife that I’ve become. I love you mom!

Also, thank you to the various moms with diabetes and moms of children with diabetes who have been sources of information to me these past two years!

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Diagnosed as an adult: An interview with mom

The other ladies

Hi Mom!

Birthday Weekend

My birthday was Friday so I got to spend the whole weekend celebrating it!

Friday evening, armed with our Foodie Cleveland cards, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Lock Keepers in Valley View with our good friends. Afterward we all came back to our house for a movie on the big screen and Main Street Cupcakes (that I had decorated myself at a work event).

A Tasty Lock 39

Aren’t they pretty?

Read the rest of this entry

Friday Five: Birthday Edition

I doubt that I’ll be one of those women who dreads birthdays. I may lament that I’m old some days, but never on my birthday. I figured today, I would share five birthday memories that made me smile as I approached one more year older.

1. For either my 6th or 7th birthday (childhood gets a little foggy sometimes), my parents gave me a yellow stuffed bunny that reminded me of my cake so I called it Frosting. Frosting currently lives in my attic.

2. I volunteered to participate in a work weekend at our church camp over my 15th birthday. When one of the organizers found out it was my birthday, he got cake and ice cream and all of the volunteers celebrated with me.

3. For my 19th birthday, Northeast Ohio had a legitimate blizzard and most of the area shut down, canceling the fancy dinner plans that Brad had made for us. His family came out and got me, we played in the snow, had a private dinner made for us and they made me a cake. The next day, when clearing out got started, my siblings came over and I got another party. Dinner reservations were remade and my birthday lasted a lot longer.

That’s a man skiing down the street

4. On my 21st birthday, I had balloons tied to me. Read the rest of this entry

Conversation Skills

I was chatting on the phone with my brother (Seth) last week and he gave the phone to my 2-year-old niece. The conversation went something like this:

Seth: Say hi to aunt Rachel.

*crickets*

Seth: Can you say hi?

*crickets*

Me: Hi honey. How are you?

*crickets*

Seth: Can you tell aunt Rachel what a lion says?

Niece: RAWR!!!!

I’ll take what I can get. Read the rest of this entry

Wrapping up 2012

Christmas came and went in a flurry of travel, events and time with family. It was wonderful! You’ve probably noticed a bit of a blog hiatus over the holidays, with both of us enjoying a holiday break, the K-Couple is not back to regularly scheduled programming, which means more time with each other and those we love and less time blogging. But I can’t let this whole week pass without reflecting on the year we just lived.

I entered 2012 as a newlywed, apartment-dwelling Clevelander. As I prepare to party away 2012 in just a few days, I can’t help but look back at the year and go

Whoa!

Not only did this year go by quickly, it was anything but boring. However… Brad and I said we were looking forward to becoming boring for awhile after the major ups and downs of 2011.

That didn’t happen, but I’m okay with it. This year brought much more joy than pain for which I’m grateful. Here’s a whirlwind summary (in no particular order).

  • We casually started house hunting one day in early 2012. We were en route to meet friends for dinner when a house for sale caught my eye and I said to Brad, “I wonder what that house looks like inside?” I searched it on my phone while waiting to be seated and we looked at the pictures and information. We never toured that house, but started looking at others and soon fell in love with ours. Placed an offer in April. Closed in June. Got keys in July. Moved in in August. (It’s a time consuming process.)
  • We celebrated our first anniversary and ate some freezer-burnt cake. Read the rest of this entry

Holidays, Food and Diabetes

I had absolutely no idea that my diabetes would be considered the only appropriate topic for a greeting or a dinner conversation with me.

I work very hard to keep sarcastic and rude responses at bay in these situation, which sometimes turns into a blog post to let it out  vent. Some people have gotten the thought in their heads that since I’m type 1 it’s okay to ask me my blood sugar, but they don’t ask the type 2s around me (they’re half-way to politeness). As we head deeper into the holidays, here are some things to keep in mind if you’ll be spending time with a person who has diabetes (of any type!):

  • How are you feeling? How’s you insulin pump working? and similar questions are NOT greetings. “How are you?” is a greeting.
  • People with diabetes test their blood sugar, it doesn’t need to be acknowledged or questioned. People with diabetes also use the bathroom, please stop asking me how my blood sugar is after I return from using the facilities. Sometimes I just have to pee and it has nothing to do with a busted pancreas.
  • My last a1c or whether I’m not eating something because of diabetes aren’t appropriate topics of conversation. Jobs, families, current events, etc are appropriate topics of conversation. If you’re really curious about how my insulin pump or CGM work (or where they’re placed), please ask me one-on-one. Half the time my Dexcom sensor is stuck in my glutes and I don’t enjoy talking about my butt at the dinner table.
  • I can’t always control what my face does. I make faces at my meter, I make faces when I do math. Don’t assume there’s a problem, unless my face looks like I’m choking.
  • Offer all food/beverages to all people (except when age-restricted). If they accept, don’t judge them. If they turn it down, don’t question. Some people (even those without diabetes) would prefer to pass on unhealthy foods or things they don’t like while others take the many holiday goodies as an opportunity to have a treat.
  • It’s nice and extremely thoughtful to offer low-carb options and diet beverages. Thank you!

Also, if fruit is the dessert for everyone, cool. If chocolate cake is the dessert for everyone but me and you give me fruit, it’s not cool.

If you have 6ish minutes… watch this awesome video that Mike Lawson made on the subject.

What tips do you have for dining with a person who happens to have diabetes?

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Diagnosed as an adult: An interview with mom

 

Santa! I know him!

I had my picture taken with Santa for the first time in my life last night.

I’ll give that a second to sink in….

It gets better. Not only did I get to have my picture taken with Santa, I found out that we’re related.

Okay well sort of related, I married his son.

No Friday Five today. I was far too tired last night to write anything.

Why was I tired?

Brad and I left right after work and headed to his high school to surprise his younger brother at his Christmas choir concert. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see my new-ish little brother perform before so it was a good time. We got there early when the students were having a break between shows. The videographer (my mother-in-law) snuck us in before the doors opened and the look on Brian’s face when he saw us was worth the price of admission (and we did get tickets to the show).

The choirs were excellent! The favorite song of the evening was Fruitcake.

My brother-in-law wasn’t the only family member performing on stage last evening, my father-in-law played the role of Santa. He was kind enough to stay in costume after the show so that I could get my first-ever picture with Santa along with many others who wanted the photo op.

I suppose some day if my husband takes over the family business, I’ll have to relocate to the North Pole. (And people think Cleveland is cold!)

– – –

We’re doing all sorts of family festivities this weekend including what has become an annual trip to Gervasi Vineyard with my in-laws and then having Christmas with my mom. What are you up to this weekend?

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More Thanks

It’s still November, so I’m still thankful!

1. Family that’s family. Those people with whom you might share DNA but definitely share a warm relationship. They’re the ones who make the holidays enjoyable. The reason Brad and I don’t mind traveling for Thanksgiving is because it’s a day we associate with family.
2. Laughter. Jokes, stories, cute kids or crazy uncles tend to bring it on.
3. Traditions. Brad and I are building our own holiday traditions together, and as my house becomes filled with holiday decorations, the traditions become apparent.
4. Leftovers. Lunches, snacks and a quick bite of good food are great. It also means less cooking.
5. Hand-me-downs. My home is beautifully decorated for Christmas with a mix of new things and lovely things that have been passed on by others.
6. Tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea for comfort and relief while trying to kick the cold that’s slowly going away. It’s calming and enjoyable. Almost as much of an emotional beverage as coffee.
7. Opportunities.

As November is heading toward it’s end, I’m curious: How do you give thanks all year long?

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Black Thanksgiving

I’ve never been swept up in the madness of black Friday shopping. I’ve never waited in a line at 5am for a crazy deal. Yes, I’ve done some light Christmas shopping on Black Friday, almost always in the afternoon when the mobs have gone home to nap.

Last year, stores were starting their sales at midnight and I rolled my eyes at how early they were opening and didn’t participate.

This year, it’s worse. And by worse, I mean it’s terrible.

Many chains are starting Black Friday sales at 8pm. On Thanksgiving.

I’m not thankful. I feel bad for the people who have to leave their families on a national holiday of giving thanks to prepare for and then deal with greedy, inconsiderate shoppers. The stores are opening at this time because they know that consumers will jump when they tell them to. There will probably be people completely changing their long-standing Thanksgiving traditions to hit the sales. My question is: Is it worth it?

I say no.

I don’t think that consumers realize how much power they have. If they don’t line up for an 8pm opening this year, the stores won’t be opening at 8pm next year. If they do line up for an 8pm opening this year, next year more stores will open at 8 and in following years it will creep closer and closer to our day of giving thanks.

At 8p.m. on Thanksgiving, I will be spending time with loved ones and I won’t be shopping.

Before you schedule a short Thanksgiving and plot a strategic approach to get one or two coveted items, think about whether that gift could be obtained from a small business on Small Business Saturday or ordered online. Think about the people stocking the shelves on Thanksgiving or running the checkouts. They would probably prefer to be with their families. Can you blame them?

That’s my two cents. What are your thoughts on the new starting times for Black “Friday”?

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