July 28, 2006

In Memory of Coni

On a very sad note, one of my dearest friends and bridesmaids, Dawn, lost one of her close friends recently. I didn't really know Coni. I had met her on a couple of occasions where mutual friends of Dawn's got together for a party or birthday. I always liked her, thought she was very sweet, and had always hoped for more opportunities to hang out. In December of 2005, Coni was diagnosed with adrenal cortical carcinoma- cancer of the adrenal gland. Adrenal cortical cancer is an extremely rare form of cancer affecting only about one in a millon people. Coni was 26 years old. After a very difficult 8 months, she peacefully passed away on July 20th- just a few short days after her 27th birthday.

I write about this mainly because I think this young lady is a brave, and amazing woman and everyone should know of her fight. She signed her journal entries on CaringBridge "Beating Cancer With a Smile", and always had a positive attitude. I was so moved by the fac
t that she seemed to genuinely care more about others than herself- telling Dawn that while she wasn't afraid of death, she was mostly worried about the people she was leaving behind. She had starting dating someone not too incredibly long before she was diagnosed, and he, too, appears to be another amazing person. He traveled with her for her treatments, stood by her side, proposed to her, and was there until the very last moment.

A day does not go by that I don't think about Coni. Her story reminds me every day that I should tell my friends and family that I love them and that you just never know when you may not have the chance to say it again. Despite our current issues with getting pregnant, I am overall very healthy and do not take that for granted. I am reminded not to get upset about the little things. Most of all, I am reminded to live each day to the fullest and in Coni's own words: Keep Smiling.



















God Bless you Coni!

July 18, 2006

XM Vacation

We'll start with this...

I may be the only person who has never heard this song, but when I did, I laughed my ass off. Not only was the song funny, but my husband knew EVERY WORD and even admitted owning the CD at one point in time. What's my point? I LOVE XM RADIO!!!! Had I not come across channel 41 "The Boneyard" on XM I would've never heard of Green Jelly and had such a good laugh on my vacation. Last week, "Joe" and I took a vacation up to Minnesota's North Shore. We stayed at a lakehome that was possibly nicer than our own house and had a fabulous time enjoying the cool lake air, hiking, and enjoying the various wildlife. On our way to most of this outdoor enjoyment XM was there in all its commercial-free glory. To put it bluntly, it has changed my life. I can always find something to listen to at one point or another. There is always a station to match my mood. My latest favorite? The 90's. This morning I got to listen to Coolio, MC Hammer, and the Beastie Boys on my way to work. LOVE IT!!! Finally. No more falling asleep on my way to work. No more totally hating all rush hour traffic. I said it once, I'll say it again: COMMERCIAL FREE!! There are one or two stations that appear to be testing the "dot com" commercials out. Pissed me off. I haven't listed to those stations since. I still don't look forward to my very long commute Monday through Friday, but at least, it has become tolerable.
I'll post some pics soon! Meanwhile- here is come video of our little friend that we made during our trip:



Here's a pic from our vacation home- there was a full moon over Lake Superior- it was awesome!

July 07, 2006

JoKo's Mixed Bag of Movie Reviews: Week of July 3rd:

SUPERMAN RETURNS:



I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! Girls. If you're looking for a hot guy to watch for a couple hours, romance, suspense, and want to see a movie with your guy? This is a movie your guy is going to want to see. I don't care much how it "compares" to the old 1978 Superman. I was two when that movie came out. I care that it represents the year 2006. I care that it entertained me to the point of laughing out loud, jumping, and cheering. I care that they made part of it in 3-D and I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Imax in that format. I care that my husband and I walked out of the theatre and talked non-stop about the movie for the 30 minute drive home from the Imax. I really took to Brandon Routh. Sure, he bears a striking resemblance to Christopher Reeve (as he probably should) but I really liked him. He's indeed hot enough to stare at in spandex for 2.5 hours. I like Kate Bosworth as well. I've seen all her big hits: Blue Crush, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton... hehe. I did have some question as to whether she could pull off Lois Lane and she did. Is she a softer Lois? Yes. She's had her heart broken by Superman, she had his kid, and now he's back in her life. She lost her rough edge. I thought she did a great job. Poor James Marsden (Richard- Lois's fiance). Is he ever going to play a role where he actually GETS the girl (i.e. The Notebook)???? LOVED Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey. I thought they were perfect villians- both cruel with an element of humor blended in. Okay. Need I say more? I loved it and had a great time seeing it, and you will too.

The Devil Wears Prada



Just call me Andrea Sachs, because THIS IS MY LIFE!!! I can't decide whether or not I enjoyed the movie more than the book, so I'll just say for arguments sake that they were both equally appealing. As an executive assistant myself, I can absolutely relate to the types of requests that Andy would get. For example, a string of rambling, all expected to be done in an amount of time that is simply inhuman, done perfectly and without question. My difference? I work for the nicest man on the planet and he would never speak to me in that kind of condescending, hurtful way. That is what makes this movie so incredibly juicy. Meryl Streep was absolutely fantastic. Never breaking out of character. Even in the moment you think that she is going to open up and relate to Andy, she doesn't resorting right back to the rudeness that is Miranda Priestly. Anne Hathaway does an okay job as Andy. She's believable, but a little annoying. I really loved the movie and the story overall. It gave a real, human spin on my own life and my own job. I even toasted along with the cast when they said "Here's to jobs that pay the rent". The one difference between the book and the movie- the ending. I wish they had stuck to the book ending where instead of simply walking away, Andy goes up to Miranda (after she requests getting her daughter's passports re-isssued in less than 24 hours) and says "Go fuck yourself Miranda" and then walks away. I think that would've been a much better ending!!

I can relate to the requests to get someone home and on flights when all seems impossible. I can relate to getting stressed out and nervous when my boss is in town, fearing that I may do something wrong, knowing that his assistant before me did a piss poor job and that I have a lot of expectations to live up to. I think I've done a fine job of proving myself, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't worry that my one screw up will cost me my job. I, too, have this belief that starting on this bottom rung may actually lead me somewhere, someday. However, as in the movie, I have a feeling that my need for a strong family and personal life will win over everything else.

With that said. I will likely not be posting for a week or so. "Joe" and I are off to our vacation (and wedding gift from my new in-laws) for a week up in Two Harbors, MN.


July 04, 2006

A Disappointment

I'm sure you can already guess by the title of today's 4th of July blog, that I'm not pregnant. This month was especially hard for me for some reason. I really wanted this to be the magic month for us! I think my message boards have made the wound a little more painful as well. I am so tired of hearing "Wow, I can't believe it, our first month trying and a BFP!". Did they bother to read the other posts? Did they happen to notice there are others on the boards that are having trouble getting pregnant? How hard it is for us to hear those kinds of things? I know they are just trying to share their excitement, but geesh. How about a little more sensitivity? I know I'm just being dramatic and hyper-sensitive because of my own heartbreak. I know someday we'll have the opportunity. I know that. I just wish it would've been easier than this. I wish we didn't have to go through all the hard stuff. I wish we were that lucky couple who was so incredibly fertile that we simply took one shot at it and it worked. I hate feeling as though there is something wrong. I don't want to wait until next March to find out if there is. I wish doctors could be more sensitive.

So, for July 4th, we celebrated over the weekend with friends and family. For the most part, it was wonderful. Minimal drama for once. The hardest part came when we got together with our friends and their newborn baby. He is, in a word, precious. My heart just ached to have one of my own. I watched him smile and giggle at me. I watched my husband carry him around and talk to him. I knew that we had to have one. I knew that we wanted to be parents. I knew that we would be great parents.

We decided to take a month off from the baby craze. We're going to Cancun in August. We're going to enjoy life as much as possible!

Happy 4th of July. Proud to be an American!!!!!!!!
 
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