Spencer and I had a great Christmas! Spencer was lucky enough to get off work early Christmas Eve, so we were able to go to his parents' for their Christmas dinner. Then we woke up early Christmas morning and I made monkey bread for us, and we had our own little Christmas. Spencer got an Xbox with some games and tickets to go see BodyWorlds 3. I got the computer game Spore and some really nice bath towels that actually fit all the way around me! Haha. Then we went over to his parents' again. Spencer got some more games and some movies. I got a nice sweater and a bag Spencer's brother made that has Domo on it. Domo is the mascot for Japanese public tv. He looks like a walking shag carpet and he's adorable. Then we went over to my dad's house so I could cook dinner. Dad got us this really beautiful wall hanging. It's a metal disk with a cutout of the Tree of Life. It's about 2 feet across and simply gorgeous. I made my famous ham and potato soup and served it in bread bowls with eggnog cheesecake to finish it off. Dad can't eat a lot because of his hernia so I had to keep the meal small which is why we had soup. Spencer and I were able to get home safely before it started snowing, and spent all weekend playing with our new games! We also took time out of our Christmas weekend to watch the first three original Star Wars movies (which are actually 4, 5 and 6 I understand) and they were so funny! I hadn't seen them in years and Yoda is absolutely the funniest character I've ever seen in a movie. Plus my friend Savannah had her baby and all us girls are so excited for her! It was a great weekend and now we're back at work!

My eggnog cheesecake. Yummm!!!!

My puppy after she just got a treat.

This is the wall hanging my dad bought us.

Spencer looking at one of his presents.

The sock puppet Spencer's mom made for us....for some reason.

Spence and I at Christmas Eve dinner.



So we are officially ready for Christmas in the new Miller house! Spencer and I finished up all of our last minute shopping today and got everything wrapped up. Then we sat on the couch and watched Elf, which Spencer had never seen before. He loved it! It's so funny and it's such a funny movie! we just have three days of work to get through and then Christmas is here! I can hardly wait!


What I Live With Every Day

I started developing symptoms of fibromyalgia in 2001. Back then, it didn't have a name. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought I was a hypochondriac or maybe just stupid. It wasn't until 2006 that a rheumatologist was able to put a face to this problem for me. I was diagnosed in April 2006. Nothing has gotten better since then but at least there's a name for what I'm up against every day.

Fibromyalgia is not "just in my head." It won't kill me, but some days I wish I would just die because I don't have the energy to live my life. I have no control over when I feel good and when I feel terrible. Fibromyalgia never goes away. If I am able to function normally, it means I'm having a good day. I can have good days, or weeks or even months. Just because I'm having a good day does mean I'm not in pain and it doesn't mean I'm not exhausted. It just means that on that particular day I'm able to overcome it just to live my life. A good morning can quickly turn into a terrible afternoon. I get a feeling like someone has pulled out a plug and all the energy has run out of my body. I can get irritable during these flares, and suddenly get more sensitive to noise or touch or just collapse from deadening fatigue. I may just suddenly feel awful. I can't warn anyone when this is going to happen because there's just no way for me to know.

Fibromyalgics have a different kind of pain that is hard to treat. It is not caused by inflammation like an injurty. It is not a constant ache in one place like a broken bone. It moves around my body daily and hourly and changes in severity and type. Sometimes it is dull and sometimes is is cramping or prickly. Sometimes it's jabbing and excruciating. If Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, fibromyalgics have them for pain. The pain has no rhyme or reason. Sometimes wearing clothes or even showering seems impossible because the feel of anything on my skin causes agony.

Because I feel bad most of the time I am always pushing myself, and sometimes I push myself too hard. When this happens, I pay for it. Sometimes if I can summon the strength to do something special I will have to rest for a few days afterward because my body can only make so much energy. These are called flares. During these flares my fatige level and sensitivity is greatly increased, and almost anything can cause pain. During these times I will just want to be held, but I can't because it hurts too much for anyone to touch me.

I get depressed a lot. I feel alone and useless and it's hard. I get angry and frustrated and I can have nasty mood swings. Sometimes I know I'm being unreasonable but just can't admit it. Most days I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay it bed. It's so hard.

There are other symptoms, ilke irritable bowel and pelvic pain that take a toll on my personal life. These can be embarrassing to talk about but they never go away.

Fibromyalgia is real. A lot of people don't believe that it is but they don't have to live with the pain of it every day. It's important to my that the people in my life believe me when I say that I am not without ambition, and I'm not "just lazy." I have dreams and I have things that I want to achieve in life but my disability makes it harder for me. I can't participate in a lot of things I'd like to. I can't work full time, which makes it difficult to help support myself and my family. But I am still human. And that's what's important.


Last Night

Last night two things happened. One was our office Christmas party, at which we were able to make an appearance but not able to stay. The other was the theater! Spencer's mom bought us tickets to go see A Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theater. It was so much fun! I haven't seen that show in years and I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun to sit there with my new family to enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season. Just makes me wish even more that Christmas would come even sooner!


Looking Forward to Christmas

I'm so excited for this year. I've got Spencer's presents all ready, I just have to wrap them and put them under the tree! I think I might do that today after work. This year my dad said that instead of a present he wanted me to come over and cook him a nice dinner. So since he actually has Christmass off for the first time in like six years, Spencer and I are going over to his house on Christmas to spend the day there and I will make him dinner there. Christmas Eve we will spend the evening with Spencer's parents, because they always have their Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I'm going to make my ham and potato soup with bread bowls (if I can find them. I want them fresh!). Then I'm thinking I might make a sweet potato pie. Or maybe peach. I don't know. Some kind of pie. I suppose it depends on what kind my dad wants! And there was something else I was going to make but I can't remember what....It's hard to think this early in the morning on a monday. Especially when Christmas is so close! I know what I'd like for Christmas but I have no idea what I'm getting! I can't wait to find out!


The First Step

So for years I've dreamed of someday owning my own bakery. I've found great joy in baking things for family and friends for their holiday parties or office parties or just because they want something. Today I took the first step in someday starting that business. I made a pumpkin cheesecake for an office party we were having today. It got rave reviews, everyone who tried it absolutely loved it. Well one of my coworkers asked me if I would be willing to make a couple cheesecakes for her family holiday party, and she said she'd be willing to pay me to do it! So I officially have my first holiday cake order! I'm so excited, I really want them to turn out! I'm actually kind of nervous now that something will go wrong! But if this is meant to be then it will work out fine. I just have to trust myself and God and have faith that this will work. But I'm so excited!


Should I or Shouldn't I...

I've been contemplating doing something new and exciting with my life. Currently Spencer are I are doing pretty well making a living at our current jobs, but if we ever want to move into a nicer place or afford to have children, at least one of us will need to get a different job. We just don't make enough as it is. I've been thinking about the possibility of getting certified to be a Pharmacy Technician. The certification program through SLCC takes about a year to complete, and all together costs between $2500-$3000, which is a lot less than the career colleges in the area, which can range from $12,000 up for an eighteen-month program. So I was considering that. My one problem is my current job: I don't ever want to leave. I mean yeah, the job can be really stressful, but I love the people here. I've been here for two years and I'm so completely settled in; I'm comfortable with my work and my commute (or lack thereof) and the people I work with. I generally don't like change, even if it is my idea. But as a pharm tech, I would be able to make more money. I just don't know what to do. I have an appointment with an academic advisor this wednesday. Hopefully after I meet with someone and have some questions answered I'll feel a little more confident about where to go. I just don't know if this is the right direction or not. Hmmm.


Life is Wonderful

I'm sure there are a few people who are going to say that I'm still in the "honeymoon phase" and will probably change my perspective in a couple years. I find it unhealthy to think that if I'm excited or satisfied or content or happy with my life now, that just means that my perspective on life is somehow skewed and that it will be "fixed" in a couple years. And, quite frankly, if that is true, then I find that all the more reason to enjoy these feelings while they last.

I feel so incredibly blessed. My husband is so wonderful, and we have such a great relationship. We are able to be completely honest with each other, and can work through any issues without getting defensive or attacking the other. We have everything we need to get by each month; enough to put into savings and enough left over to give us most of what we want. I have a wonderful family. I feel like in the last few years I have learned a lot about life; there is so much joy to be had from it. Things don't matter. We could have a small apartment or a mansion; a giant tv or none at all; all the toys in the world or just each other. It doesn't matter because when we die, we don't get to take it with us. It seems like there's no point in making attachments to superficial, temporary things. What matters are the lessons we learn from life, how we treat people, and, most importantly, the relationships we form with those we love.

I have a wonderful relationship with my husband and I feel like that's all I really need to be happy in life. He takes wonderful care of me. When Spence and I were in a pre-marital communication class, they told us something we hadn't thought of (actually lots of things, but one thing in particular that I kept with me): That marriage isn't about each person giving 50/50, or one giving more or less so you meet in the middle. It's about each person giving 100% every day. And some days that's not possible; you just can't do it. But it's important to keep that perspective. Even if the other person isn't giving 100%, you still need to try. I don't feel the need to be famous or rich or to do something grand and important in my life. I'm already doing something important because I'm important to him. He loves me. And that's really all that matters.



So we got a tree today! I was so excited to get our first real tree together! Our eyes were a little big and we ended up getting a tree just a little too big for our apartment, but it's great! After we finished decorating the tree, we turned off all the lights (except the tree of course) and sat down and drank hot chocolate and just talked. It was a wonderful start to our first Christmas together. I love Christmas time! The first pictures here are Spence and I putting up the first ornaments. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

So for Thanksgiving Spence and I went to his parents' house. We even dragged my dad with us. All total there were 16 people there! It was a little overwhelming but it was fun. Here's some pictures. The last one is me hobo-in' it up on the floor. :)


Settling In

Well we're pretty much as settled into this apartment as we're going to get. Plus I finally found the cord that connects the camera to the computer and I'm looking for an excuse to post some pictures.

This was so cute. When we were loading up the moving truck the dog jumped in and lied down. We couldn't get her out of the truck! It was like she wanted to come with us. :)

This was our first sunday dinner together as a married couple. I was quite proud of the meal. I made a pot roast with carrots and cheesy potatoes. If we could eat that every day, we'd both be happy people.

And here is Spencer playing Wii boxing. I was bored and amused by his enthusiasm so I took a picture.

Yeah I'm bored today. Is it that obvious?


Crazy World

It really is. A lot's happened in the last few days.

My sister's husband, Paul, got into a car crash on the way to pick up Jack from school. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but their van is totalled. Paul's out of the hospital but still out of commission. We're just all thanking God that Jack wasn't in the car. Paul's doing ok, but there's no saying what kind of long-term damage will come from this. It doesn't take much to screw up your neck and back and stuff, and he got a pretty nast concussion.

A friend of mine from high school just found out that her identity was stolen. Someone in california got ahold of her credit card number and charged a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff to it. We're all hoping the company is nice to her and doesn't make her pay for it. But that royally bites for her. Makes me want to be even more careful. We all think stuff like that always happens to someone else, until it doesn't. You know?

I swear I've been completely bipolar lately. I keep going back and forth between these moods. One minute I will just be completely elated. So happy I actually cry and I feel like life is wonderful and nothing can ever happen to make it otherwise. And then something even mildly sucky will happen and I will fly off the deep end completely. I'll break down and sob and pick fights with Spencer who totally deserves better than that and I'll be depressed and miserable. It's starting to get on my nerves because it's like I'm on an emotional roller coaster. I'm already taking a high dose of antidepressants for my anxiety disorder. So why do I keep getting so depressed all the time?



So I had the surgery for my wrists on friday. My hands are SORE! and yes, I'm stubborn so I'm on the computer anyway. I get the stitches out next tuesday and I have some pretty neat bruising on my wrists and palms. The pain isn't too bad, when the medicine they gave me decides to actually work. It likes to be stubborn and take a couple hours to start working. It works really well for the pain and makes me really happy, but I feel like I'm going to fall asleep standing up. It makes me really tired. Also, the pharmacist told me that this kind of medication causes the body to release histamine, so I itch all over! He said if I just take a benadryl or something it will be fine. It's kind of irritating to itch all over and your hands hurt to much to scratch...it's a conspiracy. Anyway, here's a picture of what they do in the surgery. It took like half an hour; it's nothing major.



Ok so I'd really like to get into scrapbooking but I'm not really interested in investing all the money for all the paper and scissors and all that stuff. So then I discovered this website called Scrapblog, where you can digitally scrapbook your photos! Well I absolutely love it! Hopefully I'll have more in the future, but here's one that I made today:
My Wedding Scrapbook. Oh and here's another one. Enjoy!



snow Pictures, Images and Photos

Haha it is now officially winter and that means Christmas! Spencer let me put up some of our christmas decorations the other day. He says I can decorate inside all I want but I'm not allowed to decorate outside yet. He says I have to wait AT LEAST another week. I don't agree. Christmas in my family starts the day after halloween. I'll have to find my cable for my camera so I can upload pictures. When we moved I have NO IDEA where that cord went. So currently my camera has no way to connect to my computer. Dang.

Anyway, we woke up this morning and there was lots of snow everywhere. It's really slow at work because no one wants to make the trip in because of the weather. That works for me. Makes the day a little slower but I'm not about to complain about slow business.


A Fall Weekend

So I made an appointment to see a hand surgeon. My doctor says I have carpel tunnel and the pain is just excruciating. I wear my splints all the time (some days it's the only way to get through the day) and it's getting to the point where the pain is so bad I can barely hold my pen. This is a problem when my job consists of writing and typing! The surgery would only put me out of commission for a few days and then the pain would be gone permanently. I just hope it doesn't end up costing us too much money!

So Spencer and I went to his grandmother Eva's funeral saturday morning. Something was just not right there! Spencer's mother Lana and her sisters were all running around with their cameras taking pictures of the body in the casket! It was so wrong. I'm like, what are you going to do with those pictures, scrapbook them? And then one of Lana's sisters was complaining because she didn't bring her video recorder. She said she wanted to record the funeral ceremony. I'm sorry but that is just wrong. It's not like you're going to sit your family down and watch it after dinner on holidays or something! Spence and I were horrified. He wasn't too surprised but let me tell you, it was so uncomfortable. The ceremony lasted three hours. I was about ready to pass out by the time we finally got to leave.

One good thing on saturday was that Spencer and I got to have his brothers Jeremy and Shaun over to our apartment for dinner. I made ham and potato soup and served it in bread bowls, and then I made a peach cobbler for dessert. It was really good and the boys loved it! Even Shaun, who rarely says anything to me, told me it was delicious! So that made me feel really good.

Sunday was such a soggy day. It was great. It rained all day and all the leaves formed a paste all over the sidewalk. Spence and I spent the whole day lying on our bed playing video games and eating junk food. It was the perfect fall day! We didn't eat any real food until we went to his parent's for dinner. It was great!



So we're back from the honeymoon and have has some time to settle in and get our pictures developed. So here they are! We had a great time at Disneyland and California Adventures. We even were able to make an evening trip down to Laguna Beach for a gourmet dinner with some of my family who live in that area. Lots of good food, lots of wine, lots of love...what more could you ask for? So here's some pictures from our trip!


We're Back

Ok, so we're officially home from the honeymoon and officially exhausted. It's 11 pm right now; and we get to get up at 8 tomorrow morning to move all of our stuff into our new apartment. At least, all the important stuff. Like furniture and my kitchenaid. really, the only furniture I need is a bed and an oven and I'm good! haha.

Spencer and I just went nuts today. We had a great time on the trip but we just wanted to come home! I hadn't seen my dog in like a week and it was driving me insane!

Anyway, expect to see pictures and details in a couple days here!


Here we are!

Ok. so this is me starting a blog for my soon-to-be husband and I. You may have guessed, I'm Caitie and he is Spencer. We're getting married next saturday; September 20th, 2008. Neither of us could possibly be happier! We both believe that we were meant to be together and everything for this marriage has fallen into place so well it's like the world is giving us a big thumbs-up on getting married. Hopefully we'll be disciplined enough to keep this going! Love you all!