Surgery Day (boooo)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Today is the day. I will have my first surgery in my 22 years. Long story short, I have really terrible TMJ, and none of the typical treatments seem to help at all. It makes talking for a living so fun (sarcasm).
So, as a semi-last ditch effort, my wisdom teeth are being removed to see if they're impacting the nerves at all. There may also be a little bit of nerving rearranging should this be the case.
As far as I know it's going to be a pretty routine removal, save the fact that they're still super impacted in my jaw. The wisdom teeth themselves aren't causing me any pain because they're coming in ironically. My dentist think they're causing me pain because they haven't. Strange.
Anyway, this post it scheduled for 9:30, which is the exact time I should be getting a nice, big whiff of laughing gas. If you could pray for me for a simple, routine surgery and a quick recovery I'd most definitely appreciate it! Hopefully I'll have some attractive chipmunk cheek pictures to share after :)

Eight Things in Eight Months

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eight months ago today, after 776 days of engagement and almost five years of dating, Cameron and I said "I do." It was the best day and there's really no other way to word it.
So eight months later, what have I/we learned? I thought it'd be fun to get Cam involved since he's never been part of a blog post directly before, so here's four from me and four from him.

Genna's four:
1. Compromise is an understatement. Whether it's what to have to dinner, what movie to rent or a big financial decision, it's all about compromise. It's really hard adjusting to thinking of someone other than yourself and I'm not sure if I'll ever be that good at it.
2. Money complicates everything. If there was one thing we've argued about in our short marriage, it's been money. It's indirectly tied to everything we have and do, so it's bound to cause some concern. During our pre-marital counseling we talked about this and thankfully we've gotten a little better about budgeting and planning.
3. Old habits die hard. Cameron is really bad at putting clothes in the laundry basket. I mean, really bad. This is sort of not a complaint, just an observation. His clothes are everywhere. The bathroom, the hallway, the living room, even on the floor right next to the laundry basket. It's infuriating to me, but I know it's not the end of the world.
4. Love is still number 1. I hope I get to say this 80 years from now. Despite the hard times, the love still outweighs everything else. I come home to my husband every night, I fall asleep with him every night, and I still love the heck out of him. And I will never get sick of being loved right back.

Cameron's four:
1. Women speak a totally different language. They interpret words completely differently than men. Men think "the" women think "thee." It just makes everything harder, and the only way to overcome it is to learn your partner.
2. Don't marry a person that's like you. Marry a person that's your opposite to have good balance in your relationship. One person thinks black, the other person thinks white. Wants, needs, anything. The other person can always see past it to the end result, which is very helpful
3. Ask your partner, "is the money worth it?" Household items, wants, needs, etc. No matter what it is, is it worth it? Do you want it or do you need it? Again the other person can always see the result.
4. It's always better to talk than let things stay bottled up. If you don't, things will eventually get to their boiling point. A lot of fights can be deterred if you talk about things as you go.

*Bonus advice from both of us: marry someone you can stand to live and put up with on a daily basis :)

MIAW and How it Affects Me

Friday, October 10, 2014

We're nearing the end of (if you're in Ohio) a cold, rainy, generally gloomy week. I find this a huge coincidence as it is Mental Illness Awareness Week and "generally gloomy" is a fairly common state-of-mind for me. I didn't know MIAW existed, but I'm glad it does. In summary, I've been suffering/fighting/whatever you'd like to call it against mental illness for years. It started with the death of my best friend Kelsey in 2008. That event forced me to mature at the ripe old age of 16. Her death was unexpected as she passed from a 1-in-a-million disease no one knew she had.

From there, I began catastrophizing. Basically in my head I would have "episodes" as my counselor called them. I would be doing something mundane like driving home from school and suddenly my mind would spiral out of control and imagine some catastrophic event, like my whole family dying before my eyes, Cameron dying in a violent car accident, my dog being taken from me and killed. Essentially, they all had to do with my loved ones dying, just like what happened to Kelsey.

This caused me great anxiety on top of the deep depression I'd fallen into since her death. My counselor said the depression was causing the episodes and the anxiety so that was what we needed to tackle first. Needless to say, overcoming mental illness is easier said than done. In order to tackle depression, things need to be positive on a regular basis and stable. Unfortunately for me when I was working to beat this, I was finishing a senior capstone project, trying to graduate, planning a wedding, leaving my parents' home, trying to find a job and buy a house. Not exactly the ideal circumstances.

Depression is a funny thing. It ebbs and flows, has its ups and downs and can sometimes strike unexpectedly. Right around the time of our wedding, things got really bad for me to the point where I was contemplating suicide. For the last several months, things have been on the upside. But last week, things were a little down. It's a process, but it's something I deal with and have confidence I will someday overcome, because I know depression lies.

Why do I pour all of this onto the oh-so-public digital pages of this blog? Because I want people to know they're not alone. Depression can be caused by a great many things. Death, loss, change, or nothing at all. It's important to know how many millions of people struggle with this, mostly silently. Sharing is caring as they say. So here I am sharing what no one in my real life outside of this blog really knows. Maybe this week will be the week that inspires me to share, and maybe not. Either way, that's okay.

This post was feature on NAMI's "You Are Not Alone" Page Oct. 8- share your story here

Fall Food Favorites

Monday, October 6, 2014

You could also title this post "Pinterest Successes" because all the recipes were found there.

1. Cracked Out Chicken Noodle Casserole
You. Guys. This is seriously one of my favorite recipes of all time. I made this for the first time last year and it is the easiest, most filling form of comfort food. I usually cheat and get an already made rotisserie chicken from Kroger to speed it up, but it's amazing!
Another helpful hint, I don't bake the Fritos with it as the directions call for. They're too soggy when it's reheated (and between the two of us, it lasts about three days). I just crumble some on top if I choose but it's just as delicious without them, I promise.

2. White Chocolate Pumpkin
So I mentioned these in Friday's post, but they're worth another. Just go make them. Like, now. And do yourself a favor by doubling the recipe. Trust me.

Serious huge shoutout to Tiff for this recipe. I refuse to call it by its full name, being an Ohio State fan and all, but it's so worth making. Thankfully I read Tiff's post on her experience with it and went with my 8 qt. stockpot, because it makes a ton! A few minor modifications I made: no green pepper (just the two green chilis), beans in mild instead of hot sauce (because my husband is a wimp), and served over rice (because that's how I've always eaten my chili).

Five on Friday

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's been a while since I've done a five on Friday! I guess this week I just have a lot to be thankful for :)

1. Our living room is done! Other than the carpet, it is finished. Having the room in pieces and stuff/furniture everywhere was extremely stressful for me. At this rate, we'll have the rest of the house done in 10 months ;)

2. I met my first blog friend in real life this week! Of all the little towns in the country, Elisabeth and her husband moved to little old Findlay from Utah! Small world, huh? This was the first time I'd ever met a blogger I follow in real life and I was so nervous. But Elisabeth was wonderful, we had great conversation and will be getting together again soon :)

3. Fall in Ohio. Sigh. It's so beautiful, the weather is perfect and I just want it to be like this forever. I don't know that I have a "favorite" season, but between cuddly sweatshirts, having the fireplace on, delicious pumpkin-flavored everything and the amazing weather, I guess you could say fall is up there on my list!

4. Speaking of pumpkin-flavored, these white-chocolate chip pumpkin snicker doodles are perfect. They are my new fall go-to. If you like pumpkin, make these. You will love them, trust me. The recipe makes 18, but I typically double it. I made a quadruple batch for a work potluck today and I didn't come home with any!

5. This week I've been sleeping well. Despite having to work the 4am-12pm shift at work Wednesday, which threw my sleep schedule off a bit, I've been going to bed early and feeling rested in the morning. I've never been a good sleeper, so this is a big step in the right direction for me and I can definitely feel the effects already.