Oh man you guys, this week has been crazy. Ridiculously crazy. CRAZY crazy. And unfortunately, all of the craziness was work related, so no exciting stories to tell. Although, now that I think about it, it’s not like you guys can fact check my stories. Next time I spend the week chained to my desk, I should tell y’all I joined the circus for a week. Or drove cross country. Or visited China. You know, something fun like that.

Alas! I am boring. The highlight of my week was a card game that Luffy and I got. We spent a slightly ridiculous amount of money to get Exploding Kittens off of Ebay. It was all worth it though because the game is HILARIOUS. We got the NSFW deck (obviously, because how else could you enjoy the true genius that is The Oatmeal???) on Wednesday and I am still giggling over the captions and comics. Cracks self up again… pauses to regain composure… wipes tear from corner of eye… oh seriously guys, if you have a chance, play this game. I’m inviting my brother over this weekend for the express purpose of introducing someone to this awesome game.

Other than my big plans to play some Exploding Kittens, my weekend looks a bit tedious. There comes a time when you’ve done all the procrastinating you can do and you just have to knock out some chores. This is that time. Lawn work. House work. Working out. Getting shit done. But it’s all good. I’m one of those weird people who finds it oddly satisfying to complete household tasks.

Speaking of tasks, I’ve got a few more to check off my list here at work before my weekend can officially begin. Catch y’all later!


Taking a break



Is busy. So busy. But!

I carved out a few hours this week to read Wait But Why‘s much anticipated post on SpaceX (Elon Musk’s space travel company) and now I’m inordinately excited by it. It’s thrilling to think that we could be alive when humans take their first step towards being a multi-planet species. And that made me start thinking about what I would do, if I were ever given the opportunity to help start a civilization on Mars.

First off, as an accountant, I doubt my skillz would be highly sought after in the quest to create a civilization from scratch. Anyone need help keeping track of your livestock or plants? I’m your girl. Otherwise I suppose I could take up knitting, that’s useful right? So let’s assume I do have some sort of necessary skill set. Let’s say I’m a world class botanist capable of making Mars hospitable – would I go?

The dull answer is no, I wouldn’t. I don’t have that adventurer’s spirit to head off into the unknown and the dangerous. Especially while space travel is so new and relatively untested. Right now, it seems silly to think about space travel, much in the same way I’m sure airplanes seemed needlessly risky when they first came about. Won’t it be incredible when we become as blase to space travel as we are to air travel? And this could start to happen in my lifetime! So crazy!

Anyway, if you have several hours to kill or want to thumb through the article, I highly recommend it.

Although, confession time, after I was done reading Tim’s fantastic article, all I could think about was Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and that kind of made me laugh. 

A lesson on how not to adult

So how was your weekend? I had an emotional breakdown, so that was fun.

A lesson to all the ladies out there: hormones + alcohol + sun = 45 minute crying jags in a van packed full of people (who are probably all trying to tune you out because seriously you have been crying for 45 minutes already).

Ugh. Just ugh you guys. It was not a pretty afternoon Saturday. Luffy was so, so upset with me (and rightly so). I just completely lost it. I was telling people that I’m barren and bawling my eyes out and telling Luffy to just leave me behind. Every over-the-top, dramatic ploy that you have ever seen a girl pull, I tried it. And I am not proud. I am completely ashamed. It was a bad combination of too much alcohol, too much sun, too little food, too little water, and coming off of a strong hormone therapy treatment.

And the thing that really sucks about all of it is that I hurt Luffy. A lot. I blabbed things that no one else needed (or even wanted) to know about my fertility issues. I pushed him away. I made his already stressful week terribly worse. I pulled him away from one of his best friend’s birthday celebrations to basically take his drunk, hormonal wife home AND then tried to make the problem his fault.

Good wife status: FAILED

The issue at the heart of it all is my fertility, or possibly lack thereof. Luffy feels like I’m terribly pessimistic about it, and I try to tell him that’s not true. Of course, a weekend like this past one doesn’t really go in my favor. However, if I’m really honest, I don’t think I’m upset over infertility. The end result is that Luffy and I will have a child (yay! adorable Chinese babies and milestones and birthdays and school!!) or that we won’t (yay! travel and early retirement and sharing my life with the most amazing person I know!!). I’m comfortable with either of those options and, while yes, I would be sad about not being able to conceive a child with Luffy (have I mentioned how amazing he is??? it’s totally my responsibility to carry on those genes), I would be ok. Luffy and I would have each other and our fur baby and that’s ok.

So it’s not truly the infertility that’s got me upset. If I’m brutally honest with myself – deep breath – brutally, totally honest – furtive glances to make sure no one is paying attention – I think it’s the chance to play victim. To have something wrong with me. To gain instant sympathy and pain-Olympic points. To brave-little-toaster it through and have people give me hugs and words of encouragement. That’s the way it goes right? You’re either the annoying girl who gets pregnant two weeks after she finishes up birth control or you’re the person who tries for years and decades and FINALLY manages to get pregnant (or not – more pain-Olympic points). There is no award for taking “a while” or for needing hormones to restart your period but then successfully conceiving. But then that’s bullshit too – there’s no award PERIOD.

When I was sobering up (on our loooooong car ride home Saturday night), I told Luffy that I hadn’t really talked to my mom (practically my best friend) about any of these issues. I told him it’s cause I didn’t want to get her hopes up. And that’s 100% true. I don’t want to get her hopes up and I do hope to surprise her one day with incredible news. But, I also haven’t talked much about it because the sane, rational side of my brain knows that there’s just not that much to talk about. So I haven’t had a period for five months and need hormones to restart it – so what? So we’ve been trying for almost a year and haven’t had any luck yet – so what? We’re young, there’s still plenty of time. Even though it’s on my brain a lot (because it’s my body, so of course it is) doesn’t mean that it needs to be rehashed over and over again, ad nauseam. No one would want to talk with me if all I could talk about was my ovaries.

So I haven’t talked it over as much as I could (note – I didn’t say “as much as I should” – I think I’ve talked through it with Luffy and my mom and here all that I needed), but somehow this translated into a complete meltdown Saturday because WHINE WHINE WHINE – poor wittle Belle. Not a proud moment guys. Three of my worst habits came through in a single, horrible afternoon: (1) my rocky relationship with alcohol, (2) my tendency to play the victim if backed into a corner, and (3) pushing Luffy away instead of opening up.

Deep breath.



Feels good to get it off my chest.

I’m working through all of these, by the way. One of the shocking parts about being an adult is realizing that the “growing up” never really ends. We can always improve ourselves, work to correct the weaknesses. Pinpointing the issue, or issues, that are at the root of undesirable behaviors and fixing it. It’s ok to be unhappy with something you’ve done, as long as you take steps to work on it. It’s been a long time since I’ve shut down like that, which tells me that I still have more work to do, but also that I’ve come a long way. I try to stay open with Luffy. I try to keep a fairly tight reign on my alcohol consumption. I haven’t felt the need to play the victim in years. (Seriously, years – that whole thing stems back to my abusive ex and was a ploy he used to use on me. That’s where I picked the damn habit up.)

The point is, I try. I failed this weekend, but that’s ok.

No use crying over spilled milk, right? No way through it but through and all those other trite sayings. Luffy has forgiven me. I doubt my behavior was as disruptive as it feels like to me (hopefully I was sobbing quietly??). Regardless, our friends will forgive my breakdown. Perhaps one day we’ll all laugh about the time Belle lost her shit over some margaritas on the river.

When you fall out of friendship

I’m at an interesting point in my life right now. I’m four years out of college, nine years out of high school. I’ve been in the professional world for four years, at my current job for two. I’ve been in a relationship with Luffy for three years. I haven’t lived in my hometown in four years. I’m moving farther away from my school years and my adolescence, which means that I find myself falling out of friendships.

If you were to ask me, right now, who my best friend is, I’d say Liz. I’ve known Liz since I was in the third grade and we’ve been best friends since sixth grade. We were inseparable. We went to the same middle school, high school, and college. We talked constantly, always made sure to pair up for any school assignments that we could, and consulted each other on every important matter (re: a clear phone for my room – the coolest or the lamest??). I knew her phone number by heart and it’s still one of the few phone numbers I actually know. (My brother’s cell number, for instance, I have no idea what it is since I always had a cell phone to store it.) She’s the answer to all of my security questions. She was the maid of honor at my wedding because of course she was, she’s my best friend.

So yes. Liz is my best friend. Except that my wedding was also the last time I saw her. We last exchanged emails at the end of June. My phone tells me the last time I called her was … oh wait, my phone’s log doesn’t go back that far. She’s never seen my home. She’s only visited me twice since I moved to Dallas and I’ve visited her once while I was home for the holidays. It’s not that we don’t enjoy each other’s company or talks; it’s just that life got in the way.

One of my favorite bloggers over at Wait But Why put together a post a couple months back that really hit home. In it, he discusses the different types of friendships people have and how those friendships can be good, bad, or quirky. For me, Liz is a blend of types six and seven – “The Historical Friend” and “The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship.” The whole article is interesting and humorous, so I suggest you go read it (or anything Tim writes, he’s hilarious), but in the meantime, a little summary of the two:

  • The Historical Friend – Someone you became friends with when you were really little and then stayed friends with throughout the years. The catch here is that you would not be friends with this person if you met today because you just don’t mesh now.
  • The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend – Basically, Tim talks about where I am right now. (It’s like he’s speaking to me!) Up to about the age 24 or so, everyone is on somewhat the same life path and moves through the different phases about the same time. Most of this has to do with school, right, everyone graduates at roughly the same age. But now, after college, people start maturing and branching off at different paces. And these different paces can suddenly mean that you don’t have much in common anymore.

Now I imagine there are a lot of us out there with friends who fall in between those two categories (especially if you’re about my age). For me, Liz is a casualty of this. She’s not quite a full-on Historical Friend because I do like her and we might possibly still become friends if we were to meet today. We do still enjoy our talks, when we have them, if we have them. She’s not quite a full-on Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend because we’re not the “darker, more permanent” type that Tim goes into (go read!), but it still describes our relationship fairly accurately.

For us, we are both studious, type A girls with a silly sense of humor. We both like to read and we both appreciate a job well-done. But now that school’s over, that doesn’t get us very far. Our life paths are completely different. She graduated college with an art degree and started part time work, trying to figure out if there was anything she could do with her obscure degree. I studied accounting and then went on to graduate school. After I graduated, I moved to Dallas and began working full time. She decided to go back to school then to get her masters. During all of that, I had gone through an abusive relationship and come out the other side while she had spent her college years not really dating anyone at all. Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m married and trying to have children and she’s still working on her masters degree and hoping to find a job within the next six months. She’s also fairly sure she never wants children and has no interest in finding a life partner beyond her pets right now.

Like Tim said, we don’t have that much in common anymore. Proximity (and, let’s face it, laziness) kept us friends for far longer than we probably would have been otherwise. Now our emails are short and our missed calls go un-returned.

In some ways, it’s sad. She was my rock throughout grade school and now we can barely gather the enthusiasm to catch each other up on our lives. Time, and distance, has a way of deteriorating even the best of relationships. On the brighter side, I’ve also been introduced to a lot of new people – through my work here and through my husband. So as I’m letting go of some friendships, I’m reaching out for new ones.

Fertile Myrtle….. or not

So that was fun. We should do it again sometime.

The doctor’s visit went well. I got my first sonogram! The sonogram tech was so cute. She couldn’t believe it was my first time and apologized that it had to be with cold gel. They sure do know what they’re doing because she was pointing out my organs left and right and I was just sitting there like wuhh?? That shadow is different from that shadow is different from that blobby blob?? Regardless, it was a pretty cool view. Although, I imagine it’s a bit more exciting when you’re there to view a baby, and not just an empty uterus. Just a hunch though.

My doc couldn’t give me any concrete answer, obviously, as it was the first “infertility” appointment. I had a few red flags for PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), but again, no official diagnosis. The (somewhat) good news is that it looks like my body has tried to ovulate over the past 137 days, it just hasn’t been successful. So with that, my doc and I want to focus on helping my body establish a regular cycle. I picked up a prescription for a progesterone pill that will mimic the last 14 days of my “cycle.” And yes, I’m essentially taking birth control to try to get pregnant. Figure that one out. Bodies – so weird!

What I really came away with though is a plan, which I badly needed (I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that Luffy and I are planners – it’s what we do). So! A plan of action. A timeline. And better yet! A deadline for if-things-aren’t-getting-better. So yay! I have marching orders now. Makes me feel so much better.

I really am so glad that I went ahead and went in. As much as I didn’t want to truly acknowledge the fact that my body needs help (am ostrich with head firmly in the sand), I needed it. I was talking with Luffy just this morning about fears. My mom had a difficult time staying pregnant. She had five miscarriages before she had me. That knowledge, combined with the fact that I have always wanted children, bred a fear of not being able to have a child. Even up until a year ago, one of my worst fears was that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. I would tear up when any TV show or movie introduced the trite story line – any show! Or commercial! I would break down into actual sobbing during some shows (Charlotte in Sex and the City or Izumi in Fullmetal Alchemist, if that’s more your thing). Luffy would hold me and soothe me and promise me that we would be ok, no matter what.

Oddly, it took me about ten months to realize that I sort of am right there, where I always feared. True, it hasn’t been all that long – certainly not years of trying or anything. But, there’s also the small point that my body just flat out isn’t ovulating. If it continues, there will be no conception. And yet, I’m not scared or nervous or depressed. Before yesterday, I didn’t pay it too much attention. Now that I have a plan, I feel calm and more in control. Interesting the way things work. I’m right there, right in my ultimate-scary-scenario, and yet it’s all right. I will be all right. We will be all right. We’ll just keep trying.

Confession time! I really wanted to add “just keep swimming” to the end of that cause it makes me think of Dory and that makes me smile. But then I also thought of a certain male genetic matter swimming about and that was quite appropriate but then made me laugh for junior-high-maturity-level reasons so I left it off. But now I’m telling you about it anyway because clearly, I have the maturity of a twelve year old boy.

Musings of Belle – live-blog edition

Shout out to the WordPress app for allowing me to blog from my doctor’s office! Wooo!

So, pull up a chair, keep me company while I wait.

Between you and me, it’s hard to be here.

First off, there’s the simple fact that there are so many pregnant ladies milling about. And I know I shouldn’t judge. I know that I have no clue about any of these ladies – how long it took them to conceive or what issues they had. But damn, it still hurts because so many of them are overweight or are clearly demonstrating some bad pre-conception habits. I am healthy. I am at a healthy weight. I eat great. I exercise. I’m young, but not can’t-afford-my-own-health-insurance-young. I know life’s not fair, but this is so unfair. Ugh.

Whoops. Sorry about spilling water on you there. My hands get away from me when I talk. All Italian-like. Just like my grandma. Full of hand gestures and waving. So where was I?

Then, there’s also the fact that being here makes me feel like I’m admitting defeat. Waving the white flag and admitting that, yeah, I probably need medical help to get pregnant or even to ovulate. I know there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s all in my head. Still. In my head, I didn’t want it to be like that. Ugh. But I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I didn’t put it off any longer. It’s a step in the right direction.

Man, I’m so whiney when you’re right here. Sorry about that. Honestly, just putting it in words makes me feel better. And I promise not to spill my water on you again like that, my apologies. Here you are being all nice, keeping me company, and I’m just dousing you with water. Can’t take me anywhere.

When you can only focus on one thing…

It’s hard to write when I can only seem to talk about one thing.

Work was ridiculously busy last week. Summer is supposed to be our slow time. Last year, I had ample time to complete my work. To the point where some days I had multiple hours of free time. This year – not so much. I barely finish one project before another one gets added to my list and then my normal work items pop up and oh yeah here’s a couple office-wide meetings and events to attend and, wait a minute, what happened to my slow season?! My current to-do list spans multiple writing-tablet-sized post-its and keeps expanding every day.

A couple of weekends ago, Luffy and I got to go to Frank again. It was our fourth time to experience the unique “underground” restaurant that Ben Starr and Jennie Kelley created after their stint on Master Chef. Since it’s an underground restaurant, they hold dinners about once every 6-8 weeks, usually eight to twelve seatings a session. You enter into a lottery to win spots at their intimate (20 person) dinner table for the evening. This dinner was fantastic, as usual. The theme was Brunch After Dark and that’s honestly the whole reason we signed up again. We’d been lucky enough to catch their Brunch After Dark dinner last year and it was remarkable.

I could bore you with details about each course, but I won’t. Suffice to say everything was delicious and there was plenty of champagne and mimosas (it was brunch after all!). My favorite course was probably the first course – a black bean puree with chorizo, a 63.5 degree egg, and homemade pickled veggies. So good. So so so so so so SO good. I wish I had been able to convince Ben and Jennie to give me the leftovers. Alack and alas.

The wonderful thing about these dinners is that they are never the same. Even if it’s the same theme, the menus are different. Ben and Jennie get to flex their culinary creative muscle and we get to devour unique creations every time we go. It’s an incredible experience and I highly recommend it.

Well folks, that’s all for now. Tomorrow is the day so I’m sure I’ll stop by later this week to rejoice or vent or something in between.