Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Old and New Resolutions 2013

Another year has passed.  Where did it go???  I'm not at all sure, but I feel like each one is speeding up and up and up.  Do you remember last year when I wrote about resolutions.  Well I figured, why not to do that again?

Here are the old resolutions:

1.  I want to journal.  I like to write and I'd like to improve at it and writing every day (or most every day) is the only way to get better.  Josh got me a nice new journal for Christmas so there is no excuse.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get partial credit on all of these.  Since I'm making the rules though, I deem that that is good enough.  So sayeth Sierra.  Let it be.  I didn't journal.  Well I think I journaled two or three days, BUT I did write.  I wrote a short story or two.  I wrote 50 pages of a novel.  I wrote out outlines of two more stories I'd like to write.  Shrug, that's something.  Let's call it 1/2 credit.

2.  Improve my mind in some way.  I read a lot and that is good for your mind, but I want more.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am a teeny tiny bit quite a bit jealous of Josh being back in school.  I definitely DO NOT miss the homework and test anxiety, but I do miss learning.  I have some little kid French book/movies and I want to work on my French. Josh and I want to go to Europe when he graduates and it would be cool to be a little more fluent.  I want to work on my cake decorating too.  It's silly, but it gives me pleasure.  I want to be capable of making cakes or cupcakes for friends and family without being embarrassed by how they turn out.  I guess that's more of a skill, but let's run with it, mk?

For more credit on my part, lets divide this into two parts.  Number one, work on French.  I did...a teeny tiny bit, like minuscule.  I think when (if) we go to Europe next year, I can read pretty much anything, but speaking listening, not so much.  I'll take paper that says "Ecrit si vous plait".  We'll say 1/4 credit.  Number two, work on cakes.  Hey, I did that one!!  I made some cakes and cupcakes for other people.  I was only moderately embarrassed!  I have miles to go before I'm "good", but I'm better than I was.

3.  Work on becoming a more Godly woman.  If I were to keel over this year, I would want people to be able to say of me that I demonstrated God's love.  I don't plan on keeling over, but that way I'll be well prepared.  I don't really know how I am going to go about this.  I go to church, I volunteer there, I read my Bible, I pray.  I do all the stuff you are supposed to do, but it feels like there is something more I could be doing.  For moment, I will make it a matter of prayer and try to show Jesus through every day actions, but I'm on the lookout for something bigger, like a mission trip or, more likely, some ministry that I feel I could be helpful in.

Shew, would that I had never written this.  My relationship with God has been a bit tumultuous this year.  The infertility was hard on it.  I alternate between being upset with God because He could fix this, He could fix this so fast and yet he doesn't and trusting that He has a plan I can't see or understand.  I wish I could say that I have been totally, awesomely, always "Hooray that I am going through this trial!  Go God for seemingly acting 180 degrees from what I'm diligently and passionately praying for", but I haven't always.  Sometimes it's more "I don't understand whine, tears, whine!  Everyone else gets a baby and I don't!  Do you love them more than me???"  Maybe that's real life.  I can say overall that my relationship has grown, but there were some growing pains.  So, let's say no credit for that one.  Ministries, ministries...hmmm.  I did some sign language stuff, but there was much less interest than I wanted so it kind of petered out.  I'm now the greeter at the women's group I joined, but I quit nursery in October because it got to hard.  I'm gonna say 2/3 credit for that.

Let me total up my fractions and see what I got.  Apparently simple math is harder for me than it once was.  Oh crud, now I made a typo.  Let's start again.  Got it!  2.42/5.00  Ugh, that was less than great, but something.  Only 18% of people make and keep resolutions so I did better than that?  Sure let's go with that.

I'm not feeling particularly ambitious this year.  I'd like to lose some weight/work out at all.  As in, I don't do any and that is oh so bad for me.  I wish I loved it.  However, I have so little expectation of that happening that it isn't a resolution, but I will get bonus points if I lose any weight.

1.  I would like to do the 365 Day Photo Challenge.  Josh got me a marvelous camera for Christmas and I am tickled pink with it.  In theory I would also like to improve my photography skills in the process.  I think that's an attainable goal.

2.  I'd like to get 300 pages of my book written.  That's less than a page a day.  We'll see how that works out, but let's put it in writing.

3.  I'd like to work on the adoption (obviously).  We need to get some major traction going on that front.

So...yeah...we'll see if it goes any better than this past year.  We'll strive for 60% completion.  Really set that bar high!  Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

So...I Guess We're Done?

Today Josh and I did the last of three IUIs. I was glad to get another try in, I wasn't sure it would work out to do another cycle. My doctor will only do a protocol for three cycles, so this would be the end of this protocol, but this is as far as Josh and I go now. We could go on to IVF with half ICSI, but we have prayed about it and don't feel that that is the way God's leading us.

It's the strangest thing, to be done. We've been on this path for two and a quarter years. I feel kind of liberated. It will be nice to not be tied to the calendar. It's bittersweet though. Of course, maybe this time will be The Time, but if not, it's okay because we will focus on the adoption. While I was laying on the table, trying to will myself to get pregnant, Josh said that this month we couldn't lose.  That's nice to hear, if we get pregnant-yay, if not, adoption time. Win/win

There's our fertility update, because I know you were Dying to know!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The MaddAddam Trilogy

The anxiously awaited third book of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam series came out.  I have to admit that at first I didn't enjoy it as much as I did Oryx and Crake or The Year of the Flood.  Somewhere around the halfway point though it really picked up and I was once again overwhelmed by the possibilities Atwood painted.  I was particularly pleased with the ending.  Ms. Atwood isn't one to really wrap up a story in the way that most authors do.  In some ways it's great because you can let your imagination follow the leadings of her writing and come to your own conclusions, but it is also frustrating because there isn't the tidy package I'm accustomed to.  This probably had the best ending of anything of hers that I have read.  Maybe it was because she had three books or maybe it because after three books Atwood felt like we deserved a more concrete ending.  The great thing about Atwood's writing is that she always leaves me wanting more, just one more chapter, one more remembrance.

This series is definitely not for everyone.  There is some mature content and very little that will make you feel happy about the human race, but the what-ifs are great.  The dystopia is close enough to make it seem possible, but not so close as to make you start hoarding water bottles.  The books are also quick reads so if you like dystopian books or if you are looking for some bite in the syrupy-ness of Christmas then look no further than this trilogy.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chromosome Mapping

Sorry I didn't finish NaBloPoMo strong. I got the Plague a horrible cold and laid in bed, coughing until my throat bled. I did fairly well though so, A for effort.

November blogging wasn't what I wanted to post about though. I heard a very cool commercial this evening. It was advertising a company called 23andMe that does DNA sequencing on your chromosomes for only $99!! This might not seem like a big deal, but it is. I remember learning about human genome sequencing in high school and how you might be able to one day have your own genome sequenced. At the time it was ridiculously time consuming and cost prohibitive to even consider having your own genome sequenced. Even in college, that was still a topic professors would speculate on.  It's so wild that we have come so far so quickly.

I don't know what sort of quality this company offers, but I lean toward more information being a good thing. You could know if you carried any (well any specific, known) genetic problems.  I feel a sense of pride for my fellow scientific brethren who managed to make chromosome mapping affordable and available! You go guys!