Moving is much more fun when you focus on the new stuff instead of packing all of your old crap.

The big move around the corner is rapidly approaching, so my house is quickly morphing from a place where people live to an unholy explosion of crap everywhere. This has really not been helped by the fact that Mark and I were both traveling last week (laundry explosion!) AND I returned with a raging kidney infection (zero things have been accomplished). I have gotten as far as going to Costco to acquire a nice supply of wasteful paper goods so that I can pack up the kitchen (can I offer you a Solo Cup of wine?), but the actual packing? Not so much. I am in no shape to pack things today, seeing as I can't even breathe without cringing in pain, so let's talk about the fun stuff: NEW HOUSE DECOR.

We have a surprisingly decent amount of furniture for the new place, considering that we're coming from a much smaller place. We just ordered a new mattress (super excited for the king sized bed, as my husband is a damn furnace), and we'll need a box spring for one of the guest beds, but otherwise the bedrooms are pretty well covered, at least for now. We have living and dining room furniture already, and a desk that we can expand later for the office. There will be little accent pieces to collect over time, but our only big needs right now are for a kitchen table and a family room couch.

This is the space we're working with:
Family Room (from way back -- can't find a current photo, but this gives you an idea)
Our house is a mirror flip of this one -- we're talking the two rooms along the back.
The kitchen table was a dilemma for a while, because I had my heart set on a table that was just too big for the space. Our kitchen has a lot of space, but it opens into the family room, so flow is an issue. I needed to stay in the 42" range, and the extra 6" made a big difference. I kept looking, but nothing really caught my eye; smaller pedestal tables were either too dainty or SUPER country, and I did not want to spend money on a table I didn't love. This is why I was so excited to find Canadel, a Canadian furniture manufacturer, which has a design-your-own option. We went to check out their line at a local furniture store, and knock wood (no pun intended), it seems great. Heavy, solid wood, no veneers, and a nicely distressed finish that should work well for hiding the wear and tear of daily use. I also found a classic black Windsor spindle-back chair to go with it that conveniently has matching counter stools. Can't wait to get these ordered!
It doesn't look nearly as beat up in person; the distressing is much more subtle and natural looking.

The family room is a little tougher. As with the kitchen table, I have had an image in my head forEVER, but I feel like I would be way overspending if I were to go with this particular version. It's such a classic style; there has to be someone other than Pottery Barn selling it. I want a squishy, comfy sectional in a very neutral beige so that I'm not limited in decor options and can change things up with curtains and pillows. (I'm thinking a pale, icy blue for the walls; I like that it can be beachy most of the year, but looks great with red at the holidays.) I found two options at our local furniture place:

Option #1:
Option #2:
Option #1 is very much like PB Basic in style, and it's pretty comfy to sit on. It comes in a million different fabrics, so finding something beigey and washable shouldn't be too tall of an order. Price is definitely better than Pottery Barn's (though that price really had nowhere to go but down). In all, I probably would have been quite happy with #1 had I not tried out #2. Option #2 is the couch of my dreeeams. It is super squishy; you sink into it and it envelops you in squishy pillows. It has a really deep seat that practically begs you to curl up on it. It too is slipcovered and has many fabric options (I totally love the white version in the showroom, but I'm probably definitely way too anal yet lazy (be perfectly clean but without my having to strip and wash the slipcovers!) for that), and it's in our price ballpark. The only problem is I'm not sure if it's too big for the room. Our family room is about 15' x 17'. Given the configuration, we have plenty of room along the 15' wall, but the couch running parallel with the 17' wall will be floating into the room a little bit, as the entry to the room is centered on the 17' wall. We can't have the couch sticking out so far that it creates an obstacle when entering the room. The "grand" version of the sofa #2 is 94", which would be perfect for the 15' wall. They also have an "apartment" size, which is 74" long. The dilemma is that the couch is 46" deep (SO COMFY). I think that, in order for the couches to be spaced appropriately perpendicular to each other, the depth of the long couch will make the shorter couch stick out too far past the doorway. There is a 53" chair-and-a-half that would work size wise, but I'm not sure it's a practical solution for maximizing seating in the room. Ideally there would be a sectional version of this sofa that solves all of my problems, but the saleswoman we are working with is out on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I just have to be patient -- my least prominent quality.

This would all be so much easier if I could get into the room with some painters tape to tape off where the couches would go and actually get a visual feel for it, but of course, we are in the painful period where we aren't allowed in the house so that the builders can play Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on our pre-closing walk through on Friday. I was kind of annoyed, since we've chosen all of the finishes and seen everything as it has been installed, but I really have no choice other than to humor them. Patience is just the name of every game up in here these days...

Anyway, couch thoughts?


I do not normally love business travel. I love the frequent flyer miles and hotel points, but in general? I prefer it when Mark is the one earning them. Business travel for me is generally kind of awkward. I'm usually flying to the middle of nowhere to audit a drug or medical device manufacturer that has no idea what it is doing, and leaving terrified to ever require any kind of medical intervention. (Haaaa, how that ship has sailed.) Best case scenario, I'm traveling alone and the companies I see aren't going to kill anyone; less rosy scenario, I'm traveling with our outside consultant to utter shitholes of which the owners are inordinately proud. I spend my day breaking the spirits of our clients (well, actually, Bob, it's not just FDA being difficult; quality systems ARE that important...), then head back to the finest Comfort Inn or Courtyard that exists in whichever cornfield/industrial park I'm in, praying that there is some sort of food establishment nearby that serves potable wine. It ain't glamorous, is what I'm saying. 

However, once a year, it seems my luck might be looking up. My company hosts a big annual meeting for all of the various defense attorneys we use, and in order to get people to attend, it's generally pretty swanky. This year's meeting was last week and it was gloooorious (please please please let this not have been the peak!). I had been dreading it, being a hater of meetings and awkward social functions and all, but it ended up being pretty damn amazing. I flew to California last week and found myself at a truly spectacular golf and spa resort. My room had a lovely private patio looking out on the cypress and jacaranda trees, with a little walkway down to one of the gorgeous pools. The furnishings were insane -- giant marble bathroom with a super deep soaking tub, marble shower, tv in the bathroom, giant king bed with Oprah's Italian linens, a ridiculous gilt frame for the bedroom tv. 

The meetings started with a cocktail reception the night I arrived, after which I grabbed an extra glass of wine on my way out and headed to my giant, fluffy bed. We had breakfast on Thursday morning, then a full day of presentations. Oh -- and by full day, I mean we started at 8, were done by 2 and I was at the pool by 2:30. 

The pool was spectacular as well. I grabbed a towel and headed for a chair, only to hear one of the pool boys chasing me down. "Madam! Madam! Please, let me get for you a chair cover!" Seriously, they have little towels with hoods on them that fit snugly over the top of the chair cushion so you never have falling-down-towel issues. By the time I was settled, he was back with a glass of ice water and some frozen grapes. A little while later, just as I was starting to feel a little warm, he reappeared to ask if he might bring me another beverage. Why, yes, kind sir! I asked for something fruity with rum and minutes later he was back with a caipirinha. I (heart) him.  

Thursday night was our conference dinner, which again started with cocktails and was followed with a very tasty buffet. My coworker and I escaped by 8:15, again nabbing some wine to go, and I headed back to my giant, fluffy bed. Friday was even better -- we started at 9 and were done before noon. I had a lovely room service lunch on my patio, then headed down to the spa, as one of the firms was treating us to spa services. I had an outstanding facial, then soaked in the relaxation whirlpool. 

I headed back to the pool for a bit, promptly destroying my lovely facial with sunscreen and loving every second. I had a lovely night in my amazing room, sipping chardonnay on my patio, then soaking in a bath with rose petals and enjoying another room service special (big fan o' room service here and Mark haaaaates it, so I take advantage when I can). The only down side was that I had to go home the next day (after room service breakfast on the patio, of course). Siiiigh...

OH -- my very favorite things? Housekeeping was ON TOP of all electrical cords. Hair dryer, chargers, computer cable -- didn't matter. If there was a loose cord during one of their twice daily visits, it got wound up and tied with a gold ribbon. For real, every time. It was ADORABLE. They also left either chocolate covered Oreos or little boxes of truffles as the turn down chocolates. HEAVEN. 

Anyway, my husband is a wonderful guy, but he is super not into luxury hotels, and I love love them. The rarity has kind of made me appreciate them more, so I soaked it up while I could. And even better -- on someone else's dime! Ohhh, if only all business trips were like this...

I may have spoken too soon...

So, last time around, we talked about my deluuuusions, and rest assured, they were nothing more. This month was a bust -- a very long and expensive bust. I remained devoted to my hopelessly hopeful delusions right up until the moment my nurse called with the news, despite testing out the trigger and taking a series of glaringly negative home tests. I had my two favorite monitoring nurses to chat with during the blood draw, and they laughingly called me a "home test cheater," saying that this was a relatively early blood test and I may have just tested too early at home. Deep down I knew, but I played along. I always feel like I have to be super chipper when my main nurse calls with the bad news, too. She feels bad delivering it, so I always overcompensate, like I never expected the thousands of dollars of crazy making hormones to result in a real, live baby or anything, so no need to worry about me, I'm fiiiiiine!

We're taking a breather this cycle, and I'm definitely ok with that. Last cycle was particularly trying for some reason; maybe it was the signs, maybe it was selling our house and the rapidly impending move on top of all of the drugs and monitoring. Regardless, the breather is kind of out of our hands, and here's why. You know how last time I mentioned that I had craploads of antral follicles and Mark's analysis was tip top? Yeah, about that... 

Mark busted his shoulder while skiing about 4 1/2 years ago (Christmas '08 -- he was totally showing off on his first ski trip with me and bit it hard while attempting to slide down some sort of skiing balance beam thingy). Rather than going to the doctor after the pain wouldn't resolve, he just continued to build houses and play softball and renovate our house and do any number of things to irritate his ARTHRITIS AND PARTIALLY TORN ROTATOR CUFF, all the while bitching about how much his shoulder hurt. It was not at all infuriating and I was the picture of sympathy the whole time. (LIES.) Anyway, in a softball game a few weeks ago, he threw the ball and the pain in his shoulder kind of exploded (ROTATOR CUFF. TOOOORN!). 

It was enough to make him schedule a doctors appointment, and while he was there, he mentioned that he had been feeling tired a lot, earning himself a nice blood panel. Interestingly enough, the blood results came back that his testosterone was low, which could certainly cause fatigue, but also a whole mess of Science Baby issues. I called my nurse to see what his levels were during our intake testing and she said that because his analysis was great, they did not test his testosterone; they do that only when there is an issue with the semen analysis. Long story still long, we have no idea if the low T is accurate (his blood was drawn in the afternoon and testosterone needs to be tested first thing in the morning), and if it is, whether that is having an effect on Science Baby and the lack thereof. He has an appointment next week with a urologist recommended by my doctor, so we'll see what the deal is and then formulate a new plan. There's no sense in jumping into another cycle until we figure this out. I'm kind of leaning toward IVF at the moment, especially since it's covered by state mandate while I'm still on Mark's policy for the next six months, but right now we just have to be patient and wait to see what the doctors say. 

I wish patience were something I knew how to do...

(The business trip to heaven on earth I am currently on is helping. Remind me to tell you about it, because whoa. WHOA. Gotta run -- had my rose petal bath and room service dinner; now it's time for a nightcap of port and the little box of truffles left on my pillow.)