Jul 27, 2011


on saturday i was innocently eating a popcorn chip, which adam described in delicious detail here, when i felt an unusually hard crunch against my teeth.  i immediately spit out what was in my mouth (gross, i know) to find that half of a porcelain veneer had broken off of one of my top teeth.  luckily, half of the veneer stayed in tact and was protecting my tooth from being sensitive to heat or cold, so i made it through the weekend being very careful not to chew or bite down on the right side of my mouth. 

on monday i called around to six different dentist offices attempting to get in with someone asap.  luckily for me, i was able to get in tuesday morning as a new patient with dr. lee, who is my new favorite person.  i spent 3 1/2 hours with dr. lee and staff and walked out of there with a brand new shiny veneer, a process i had assumed would take 1-2 weeks from start to finish.  given the fact that i'm leaving the country next week, i was very, very relieved to have the veneer replaced in a single day. 

finding out the price, however, was not a happy moment for me.  i was given an estimate as soon as we decided on a course of treatment and found out that my lovely dental insurance does not cover any amount toward cosmetic procedures.  awesome.  dr. lee's office manager was great, though, going through payment options with me and helping me find a workable solution.  so, without further ado, here is what a $1000 tooth looks like:

Jul 25, 2011

planes, trains and automobiles

i've been planning a vacation to the spanish coast since february.  there are 8 adults and 3 kids going, so the planning has been pretty extensive trying to coordinate dates, flights, other transportation, accommodations, side trip to madrid, etc.  after a lot of research and money, we're booked and ready to go.  aside from a few final details that we need to confirm, we are spain-bound in 10 days! 

getting to the house where we're staying just outside of torrevieja is going to be an adventure.  fly to philly from chicago, 3 1/2 hour layover.  8 hour flight to madrid, 3 hour wait for train.  3 hour train ride to alicante.  get to alicante airport to meet up with my sister and her family, travel by bus and then taxi or just by private shuttle (we're still in the process of planning that part) to the house.  all in all, we're looking at over 24 hours of traveling by the time we arrive from the US to our destination in spain.  whew!  i need a glass of sangria just thinking about it! 

but it will be well worth it.  i'm so excited to be traveling with adam, gary, and our good friend melissa.  the four of us could have fun in a paper bag, so i'm sure we'll have a great time.  i'm a little sad that the bf can't go, but it works out well for me because he'll be here in chicago to watch my kitty.  i'm going to owe him some good souvenirs for this one. 

we will be 1/3  mile from punta prima beach, which looks a little something like this....

the house we are renting also has a rooftop terrace with a hot tub (not sure we'll be using that a whole lot since it gets pretty hot in spain in august, but who knows!), a private tiled garden area, a shared pool and enough space for all of us to have beds, which is actually a more difficult thing to find than you'd imagine.  as of now there is zero rain in the forecast for the time we're there so i can definitely foresee a lot of beach and pool time.  good thing i just stocked up on sunscreen yesterday! 

i'm really looking forward to some yummy sangria, tapas and paella, as well as some home-cooked meals prepared by those in our group who actually like to cook (adam, paul - hint, hint).  we are also taking tennis racquets, so hopefully we can get in a few tennis games during the trip.  i'm sure there will be lots of euchre games in the evenings as well as some nights out on the town.  a day trip to alicante is most likely in the cards and the US crew will finish our trip with a quick whirlwind tour of madrid. 

the driving force behind all of this was discussion with my sister and her hubby about this summer and my plans to visit them when i was in london with them for christmas.  we figured since i have to travel quite a long distance anyway, why not just make it a new destination?  that way they can have a vacation and i can see them while still visiting a new place and getting in some beach time.  add in some additional friends, sunshine and ocean and voila!  vacation is born.  in addition to hanging out with friends and seeing my sister and brother-in-law, i'm super excited to spend time with these two little mokeys:

i just want to enjoy the trip, come back feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready for any new adventures that may come my way (as long as they don't cost me any money)!

Jul 20, 2011

hurry up and wait

have you ever thought about how much of our lives we spend waiting?  wait for the bus, train, cab.  wait for the light to change.  wait in traffic.  wait in lines everywhere.  wait for a table at a restaurant and then wait for your food and the check.  wait for other people to arrive at a meet-up point.  wait to see the doctor and dentist.  wait for your diagnosis of a clean bill of health or life-changing news.  wait for the stick to show + or -.  wait to give birth.  wait for your car while it's being repaired.  wait to hear back from a job interview (or 4).  wait for your laundry.  wait for feedback on a project or report.  wait on hold for the cable company.  wait for the coffee to brew.  wait for commercials to finish to get back to your show.  wait to get out of the parking garage.  wait for a package to be delivered.  wait for the store to sell alcohol at a designated time on sunday. 

i could go on and on and on, but the point is - we spend a ridiculous amount of time waiting for things.  of course, certain things like giving birth give you a 9 month wait to get ready for the new baby and waiting for your laundry or the coffee isn't a big deal because you can just keep yourself busy with other things in the meantime.  we're used to waiting for appointments and in traffic, though those things grate on the nerves. 

i've been wondering lately how i can reduce and/or maximize the time i spend waiting.  should i take up a hobby to kill the time?  or will i just have to wait in line at michael's and then wait in traffic to get home to start said hobby?  i usually keep myself entertained waiting at the doctor's office or auto shop by reading or playing games on my phone, but what about the other types of waiting - the ones that take days, weeks, sometimes months and drive you close to crazy?  for example - the job search.  you interview, then wait.  they call for a second interview, you wait for that day to come, interview, then wait.  they call for a third interview, you wait for that day, interview, then wait.  that process can be excruciating!  same thing, though with much more serious implications, as you wait for a diagnosis from your doctor.  go to first appointment, find out something is off.  get scheduled for tests, wait for date of testing, get tests, wait.  receive call with test results, need additional tests and specialist, make those appointments, wait for appointments, go to appointments, wait for results.  get results, which hopefully are good, but may find out you need additional appointments, ongoing health checks, etc. waiting to find out how your diagnosis will progress over the course of time is a particularly evil form of waiting and never fully leaves the back of your mind.

so again, i ask - how do you minimize/maximize waiting??  i can do things to temporarily take my mind off of certain things, try a different route to work with - hopefully - less traffic, occupy myself with books, tv, phone calls, tennis, etc. during waiting time, but i want to know how i can clear my mind and not let the waiting for the big things get to me.  any suggestions?  i'd love to hear them.  and yes, a lobotomy is out of the question.

Jul 18, 2011

driving miss crazy

the other day i was feeling frustrated and stressed out (that seems to be a theme with me lately for various reasons, but that's a whole other post) and was trying to figure out what to do to alleviate some of my anxiety.  i started thinking about how i used to jump in the car and go for a drive when i needed to take my mind off things.  i would get in the car, put on music that i could sing along to at the top of my lungs, and take a scenic drive.  after 20, 30, sometimes 60 minutes i'd always feel much calmer and reasonable about things.  i would almost always return home feeling relieved, less stressed and in a much better mood. 

as you may have guessed, however, living in chicago is not conducive to scenic drives for stress-relief purposes.  quite the opposite, actually.  even the thought of driving around this city when i'm not on my way to a specific place makes my blood pressure rise.  the idea of putting myself in the car and wasting ridiculously expensive gas in an attempt to de-stress only makes me more stressed.  and intentionally sitting in traffic, yelling obscenities at idiot drivers, and wanting to bang my head on the steering wheel certainly isn't relaxing; it's more of a nightmare.

lucky for me, the nice thing about living in a city like chicago is that there is a lot to do and see within walking distance.  now i find myself taking strolls around the neighborhood, popping into local shops, stumbling upon farmers markets or live music and enjoying these distractions when i need to stop thinking about stressful things.  i guess my stress has gone green!


Jul 5, 2011

three day weekend

originally, i had planned to drive to indiana to meet this little guy for the first time over july 4 weekend:

being the first addition to the H family, little G is already quite popular among our friends and we are dying to see him in person.  however, being very, very new (only 2 weeks old) and still getting used to being out in the loud world, trying to let his tired parents get a few minutes of sleep in here and there, and working out the difference between night and day, little G decided he will be accepting visitors at a later date.  another post to come after i get to meet him!

so, left with the option to still drive down to indiana to a friend's family's lake house (which would have been a blast), or save money and stay here in chicago (i'm saving for a trip to spain in august), i opted to go easy on the bank account and stay home.  three whole days stretched ahead of me with NO plans.  amazing.  i love my busy weekends that consist of going out, dinners, drinks, errands, tennis, etc., but sometimes when a particularly busy weekend is coming up i feel exhausted before it even gets started.  so the idea of having zero plans was extremely appealing for the long weekend.

it ended up being a pretty perfect three day stretch.  drinks with friends after work on friday, watching wimbledon finals saturday and sunday morning, followed by tennis both days, over to friends' places both nights to grill out, night caps out at the neighborhood watering holes, monday ending the weekend with a day of errands, more tennis and a stroll around the neighborhood to see the fireworks and enjoy the last bit of time off work.  i got to see good friends, eat good food, spend a lot of time with the bf, play a LOT of tennis (which always makes me happy!), enjoy the gorgeous weather and just relax and let all of those things that have been stressing me out lately to be put out of mind.  now if only next weekend was a three day weekend, too....