Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yesterday my grandmother died.  I'm trying to process my feelings about it, but it's hard.  All I can do is feel sad, like she was torn away from me too soon.  After she fell on New Year's Day I had a conversation with Ben where I told him that I was hoping she would make it through this, but that I didn't think she would.  I went to the hospital every day and sat with her.  Sometimes we talked, sometimes we didn't.  Mostly I just wanted to be there in case she was lonely or scared.  Last Thursday the staff at the hospital said that she could probably go home the next day.  I felt okay going to Columbus with Ben after that, and I told her I was going and that I'd see her when I got home.  But she just got worse.  Something else was always going wrong.  I called her on Sunday and she sounded bad.  She told me she was sick, and I said, "I know.  But I love you so much."  She said, "I'm sorry, Steffie," and then just hung up the phone.  She ended up going into the ICU two times, and after the second time the decision was made to put her in hospice care (but still at the hospital).  When my dad called and told me that I drove back from Columbus immediately.  That was Tuesday night.  I don't even really remember the two and a half hour drive.  When I got to the hospital my dad and his brothers weren't in the room, so I had about thirty minutes with her on my own.  She wasn't awake or conscious or whatever, and I don't know if she could hear me, but I talked a lot to her.  And then I sang a little, and I told her I'd be right next to the bed if she woke up.  She didn't.  I went home at 2am.

Yesterday I thought I had sort of made my peace with the fact that soon she would be gone.  All day I didn't think I would go back to the hospital, and I felt confident that I had said my goodbyes.  And then the weirdest thing happened.  Ben and I were out to dinner at a restaurant and all of a sudden I felt like I had to go to the hospital again.  Ben was surprised, but he drove me there right away.  And I got there literally two minutes after she had taken her last breath.  I feel wracked with guilt that I wasn't there next to her and that I couldn't get there in time to tell her again how much I loved her.  While we were driving home from the hospital Ben was trying to comfort me and he said, "You were there for her when it mattered."  I snapped at him and said, "it always mattered.  It was always important to be with her."  And you know, I really did feel that way.  My idea of family doesn't just have to do with blood relationships, but much deeper bonds.  I haven't formed those bonds with very many people, but I did with her.  I had a special connection with her that was apparent to everyone and that I treasured.  After my grandfather died I did pretty much everything with her.  Took her grocery shopping, to get her hair cut, little trips to the dollar store, the movies, out to lunch.  I sat with her and talked at her house, held her hand when she got sad, and tried to make her laugh and lighten up (much like me, she worried about everything and got stressed out easily).  I have such special memories of her, and having her gone feels like there's a hole in my heart.

As soon as she became uncommunicative, I had these thoughts like, I don't know what her favorite color is.  Or her favorite song.  Or the time in her life when she felt the most scared or went on the biggest adventure.  I don't know how she felt on her wedding day.  I can't get these thoughts out of my head.  I suppose the extremely faint silver lining is that this happened when I could be home to say goodbye.  I just wish that things had happened differently.  I know she wouldn't have wanted to die in a hospital.  I had hoped and wished so hard that she would be one of those people who would die in her bed, just sort of going to sleep and not waking up.  I'm glad that I got to spend one last Christmas with her.  I'm glad that every time we talked I told her how important she was to me and how much I loved her.  I just wasn't ready for her to be gone.

Here we are on Christmas Eve.  She was wearing a Snuggie which is like, too adorable for words.  

I know she knew that I loved her, and I know that I did all that I could for her, but I can't help thinking that I could have told her I loved her more often or hung out with her more.  I could have called her every day from New York and I didn't.  I feel so guilty and so empty.  And I will never have another grandmother.  And this hurts.

I guess I'll end this with a good memory.  One of my favorite things about her was her shoe collection.  She wore these little ballet flats from Payless that had a camo print and had shiny gold bows on them.  And it was the cutest thing ever.  I'm glad that I got to tell her that I'm getting married, that she got to know Ben, and that she saw pictures of me in my wedding dress.  

And I'm glad that I got to say goodbye.  Even though I didn't want to.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Essie Beyond Cozy

It has been a while since I've gotten a new polish for myself.  I've been so into neutrals and sheers lately that I have been wearing OPI Barre My Soul and Mimosas For Mr. & Mrs. almost exclusively.  Pretty boring, blog-wise.  The other day I was driving down to Columbus to stay with Ben while he works and to see my best friend, and I decided to stop and get a new polish on the way.

I can say without doubt that I am beyond in love with Essie Beyond Cozy.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about it.  Who needs ANOTHER dense gold glitter, amirite?  At least that's what I thought.  But really this one is a mixture of champagne and platinum glitter, giving the polish an overall lighter effect.  It's super dense, and I only needed two coats for full coverage.  The only semi-downside is that this one just NOM NOM NOMS topcoat.  I used two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri on top of this one, and it doesn't look or feel like I used any.  But I'm okay with that.  Ben liked this one, too!  He said, "You actually out-blinged your own diamond with that one."  The highest of glitter compliments.

Because I've been hanging out with my friend, we've been doing a lot of shopping.  I haven't bought much.  We were shopping for bridesmaids dresses (still undecided) but also for a dress for her to wear to a formal event next weekend.  But in our travels I did buy this.
I'm...pretty excited about it.  When I spotted it I dropped whatever else I was looking at and ran over to snag it.  I was initially upset that the Forever21 we were at only had a small (my boobs and hips usually can't fit into a small anything).  Weirdly the sweater seems to run large, and a small was more than adequate (really strange for F21), so I was so glad to bring this one home.  First repeated animal print sweater of 2013:  CHECK.  I'm on a tight budget, but I got some dollars for Christmas, so I am also on the lookout for this one:
You may remember how I feel about lobsters.  I've been on the hunt for a lobster-print dress for a pretty long time, so maybe this sweater, which can be had for around $20, will satisfy me for the time being.

Other than that, things are pretty slow here.  My grandmother seems to be recovering.  I sort of felt like I had to get away (a luxury), so I'm just staying in a hotel with Ben in Columbus, seeing him after he's done with work at night, and hanging with Aimee during the day.  I'm enjoying it.  A lot.  I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing, actually.  Except maybe hang at my parents' lake house.  I'll see if I can get that done, too.

So, opinons on Beyond Cozy?  ...on marine animal sweaters?  

Monday, January 07, 2013

Wedding Dress [Rejects]

Hey all.  Yet again I have no nails to show you.  Really, this doesn't bode well for my blogging in 2013.  Things are pretty hectic over here now.  My grandmother had surgery on...I don't even know what day it was.  I guess Wednesday, when I last posted.  I've been at the hospital every day for a couple hours with her.  Mostly she's in a pretty bad mood.  Plus she's in pain, so it's hard to see her like that.  I'm unclear on when she's getting out and what happens after that, but I know that my parents are stressed about it.  Particularly my dad (it's his mom).  Anyway, it's a tough situation and I'm...upset.  But, I thought that it might be fun to post some of the wedding dresses I tried on but didn't love love.  Through all of this I've been thinking about wedding dresses because I've had one in particular on my mind.  I kept trying dresses on trying to best that one, and it never happened.  Without further ado:

I liked this one because--need I say it?--it has pockets.  Actually, a bunch of dresses I tried on had pockets.  I also liked the sweetheart neckline, the beading at the waist, and how small it made my waist look.  But I hated that big bow it had in the back.  I was told I could get it sans bow, but I felt I shouldn't have to totally alter a dress I love.  Next.

Some sample sizes fit me, some didn't.  Apparently this one had trouble zipping all the way, but I loved how it looked on me.  It did all the right things for my curves, and it was my favorite one that I tried on that day.  That's my friend Aimee in the mirror taking pictures of me.  She made things fun instead of stressful.  I tend to stress unnecessarily.

This one was also a bit tight, but I liked the interesting neckline.  I was also really liking all the lace that I tried on that day.

Okay, this one I really loved.  I added it to a "favorites" list at this place my mom and I went to, Catan Fashions in Strongsville, Ohio.  By the way, the girl who helped me there was named Olena and she was wonderful.  If you're in the area and looking for wedding dresses, bridesmaids gowns, or formalwear, give her a call.  She was great.  Anyway, I loved how romantic this dress felt.  It has layers and layers of tulle in the skirt, with different things on each layer--lace applique or sequins.  I liked the neckline, but I thought it was a little too boob-revealing.  Also I didn't like the spaghetti straps much.

I loved this one, too.  It's the J.Crew Miranda Flower gown.  I really loved the simplicity of this dress.  First, it's cotton, so it's light.  The silhouette was beautiful, and I loved the pleating at the bust.  It comes with a white sash, but I opted to try it with a black one.  

My mom took this picture of the gowns in our dressing room at Catan and I thought it was kind of cute.

Last Monday Aimee and I went to a little place by her apartment in Columbus.  When we walked in they sort of just let us pick out the things that I wanted to try on.  I saw one dress hanging there that I recognized.  I bought one bridal magazine when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, and I tore out the page that had that gown on it.  When my consultant put it on me I knew it was it.  It was fate!  Aimee loved it (which is important to me), and after trying on like five or six other dresses I put the first one back on.  This past Saturday my mom and I went to the same store so she could see me in the same dress.  I never imagined how it would be when my mom saw me in the dress that would be my wedding dress, but she reacted in a satisfying way--although she didn't cry.  But she told me she loved it and it was beautiful, etc.  Which made me feel so nice!  And then after about an hour of standing around in the dress, trying on different accessories, we finally said yes to the dress.  No, really.  My consultant said, "so...are you saying yes to the dress?!"  Now I don't even have to go to Kleinfeld.  I feel like I've ALREADY BEEN THERE.  

You can't see the dress.  Nor will I describe it other than to tell you that it's a dress.  My mom actually said, "DON'T BLOG THE DRESS" on our ride home from the store.  She knows me so well.  So, that's one big thing that I can check off my list.  Uh, I don't actually have a list.  I should probably make a list and then check this off.  Truthfully, this wedding has been A HUGE SOURCE OF STRESS for me because I haven't been able to do anything from New York.  Not really.  So to have this done, and to be absolutely sure that this is the dress I want to get married in, feels pretty good.  You all know how I just love dresses.  I thought I could try them on forever and ever, but after I knew this was the one I pretty much just wanted to stop looking.  Good sign.

Mmkay, hopefully this was at least an amusing post.  If you want me to cool it on the wedding stuff on this blog, just let me know in the comments.  If you like hearing about it, I can keep updating you.  Just let me know.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

From the Hospital 2.0

This is not exactly the way that I wanted to start out 2013, but it is what it is.  The last time I posted from the hospital, it was because my mom was having surgery for some pancreas issues.  This time I'm here because my grandmother fell on New Year's Day and broke her left hip.  Luckily (I guess) my parents and my aunt and uncle had just moved her into assisted living, so after she fell she was able to pull a little emergency cord and have help right away.  Yesterday I drove back from Columbus and spent four or five hours with her in her hospital room.  I arrived today just a little too late to see her into surgery, which made me sad, but I'm here waiting with my dad until she gets out.  

I'm not exactly one for prayer, but I do believe in the power of positive thinking, so if you could send some nice thoughts over to the Cleveland Clinic for my grandma, that would be nice.  She's very scared and sad that this happened (especially at the start of a new year), so we've been trying to comfort her as much as possible.  She is an awesome, fun, and feisty little lady, so I'm hoping she finds the positive mental attitude she's going to need to get through this.

Here we are at my graduation party in May.  I have to say, I really like the angle at which she chose to wear that mustache.  It's a little diabolical.

That's all for today.  No nails yet.  But here's hoping things look up.