Wednesday, December 23, 2015

20 weeks, half way, 14 ounces, May 6th

I waited for December 21, 2016 for a long time.  December 21, 2016 at 10 a.m. to be specific.  I was to be at the Essentia Health First Street building at 10 a.m.  for a 20 week anatomy scan/ultrasound by a Perinatologist.  Most pregnant woman do not need to see a perinatologist but due to my 'advanced maternal age' (said with a smirk and sassiness) in addition to having an autoimmune disease NOS, I had the pleasure of meeting the perinatologist.

I had hoped and hoped that this ultrasound would include a 3D picture of what my little guy looked like at this point in his development; it did!

For baby:

  • At this point in his development I can feel him moving around.  I especially feel him moving when I'm driving or sitting in a car.  He seems to not like me to be in that position.  
  • He moves most in the late afternoon
  • He has all anatomical parts one needs
  • He wouldn't cooperate for part of the ultrasound
  • He is approximately the size mango or banana
  • He weighs approximately 14-15 ounces
  • He's cute!
For myself
  • For myself, at this point, I am dealing with strong reflux.  It got to a point where water was even causing some symptoms of reflux.  I am so thankful for the Ob/Gyn telling me that with the reflux in combination with one of my autoimmune symptoms of esophageal dysmotility it would only get worse and best course of action is to take an anti-reflux medication.  This has been a life saver!
  • I lose my breath carrying a laundry basket up one flight of stairs
  • I'm tired by not fatigued as I was in the first trimester
  • My belly popped out around 17-18 weeks
  • My legs/feet swell up a little by the evening time
  • I'm half way, I have 19 weeks left to go before we meet this little man

Due Date: May 6, 2016
Miracles do happen!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

a new blog {NadiaFaye}


A quick short note to let me few followers know of a new blog I will also be maintaining.  I started to for the purposes solely of my photography efforts/work.

You can find the new blog at:

Please go have a look and share the information with your friends. Follow my work there.  Encourage your friends to follow me there as well!

If you are in and around the Duluth area, or within the cities area and would be willing to let me shoot (photographically speaking) your children, selves, family, etc... I am open to shooting the first 5 people to contact me for free.

Why?  I want to do this to show mainly myself that I can, prior to charging for my photography enthusiast services.

I can be reached via blog comments at the above link, or via email at

I can't wait to see who contacts me first!!

With renewed excitement towards my photography journey...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

pushing past self imposed boundaries

Robert and I are coming up on our one year anniversary; the first year's journey is a topic for a blog at a different time.  The early anniversary gift however is a major player in helping me push past my own boundaries and feelings of inadequacy within the realm of photography.

The traditional first year anniversary gift is 'paper'.  Robert said to me after letting me know of his gift to me, "The gift can be the receipt, that's paper."  It was a five day course on wedding photography. Through Creative Live with the speaker as Jasmine Star.  I have been thrilled with the start of the course and of course have now started to follow Jasmine's blog.  I absolutely love her humor and love that she loves her dog as much as I love mine.

I've dabbled in photography for a number of years.  I struggle with self imposed boundaries which stop me from making progress as I would hope.  Feeling that I'm not quite as good as another photographer, or would someone really want to pay for my services, or getting 'scared' yes scared to take photos and show my work, even to those closest to me.

Well, here's to saying adios and farewell to those barriers to my success.  I am looking forward to shooting my first wedding!  Happening on August 22, 2015. Eight day before my first wedding anniversary.  To make the day even more special, it is my youngest brother Adam's wedding.  He is getting married to Carly, she used to dog-sit for Nadia- my four pawed, furry butt, princess peach.  I am very happy to replace her title of Carly the dog sitter, to Carly my sister-in-law.

these pictures have nothing to do with this posting other than...

she is an adorable fluffy butt!

Look for the wedding photos, coming soon!  Breaking my own barriers in the process- no more self imposed boundaries.  Full steam ahead.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekend photos...

Scaring the birds

Fly birdies bly


On your mark




Mission accomplished

So serious

Wait what did you say?

Starting the process of  repurposes old sweatshirts

Mia, the assistant on the rotary cutter and cutting board

The start of repurposing an old oil painting

On the inside looking out...

I see something interesting...

Friday, July 24, 2015

intuition, pizza, gut feelings, Dave Ramsey, fraud, and stolen cards

A week ago today, I was busy cleaning and getting ready for weekend guests.  Robert was at work and I figured it was a good time to order pizza.  When giving my information to the individual on the phone I had a bad feeling.  A negative gut reaction if you would to her persistence that she didn't hear me and asking me to repeat my information multiple times.  My inner voice said, "I bet she steals your information".

Fast forward to Thursday.  I was working at the hospital and attempted to purchase myself lunch when my card was declined.  The cashier kept saying, oh it's this machine, sorry.  I paid in cash and went on my way.  Today, I attempted to make a purchase at Target, my card declined.  So I sign onto my on-line banking account only to find multiple purchases had been made that I myself did not make.

Quick phone calls were made to the bank and I learned that apparently this woman in addition to making purchases from and (apparently she didn't know I was married); also attempted to make purchases from Lulu Lemon, Uber, and others I didn't recognize.

To say I'm feeling a bit angry is an understatement.

Good news is- I will be reimbursed for the purchases I did not make.  I will get an entirely different number.  This current card has been discontinued or stopped; whatever they do to it.

I remember distinctly what that woman's voice sounded like.  I have every intention to walk into the pizza place myself and complete my own investigation/interrogation -or- at the very least make a report to the police about what I believe happened.  It isn't good for criminals when the mess with individuals like myself who remember useless pieces of information like your voice, or the day/time of my weird intuitions.

Moral of the story... don't make purchases over the phone.  Always go in yourself or pay cash.  Go Dave Ramsey- I believe I will change from making over 60% of purchases with cash to fully implement your cash suggestions now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Duluth by Quad Bicycle

We, meaning Robert and I were fortunate to have his twin brother and his mother come visit for a few days.  A short morning visit to Canal Park via Quad bicycle was enjoyed...

Monday, July 13, 2015

If I could tell you...

If I could tell you...

I would tell you to leave.  I would tell you to break off your relationship.  I would tell you to put one foot in front of the other and walk out the door; while you are still alive.  Alive in multiple senses... emotionally alive, mentally alive, and well, physically alive.  Leave while you are whole.

I would tell you about the scars mental and emotional abuse leave.  I would tell you about the nightmares that continue for years later.  I would tell you irrational fears that develop and take years to overcome.  I would tell you that the further you go and the more you start believing you are crazy; you are not.  That is your inner voice telling you in a backwards way that you are not safe and you are now closer to being completely controlled by someone else.

I would tell you the further you go into a relationship and the more often fleeting visions pop into your head of being murdered by someone you are supposed to love, are actually internal warning signs that you are not in the right place.  I would tell you NOT to ignore them but to heed to them and walk away.  I would tell you that the emotional and mental abuse are suffocating and to this day I panic when anything gets too close to my neck.

I would tell you that you are most likely being treated with the utmost respect as of now.  You are a princess in his eyes now.  You are being told that all of his ex-girlfriends were 'crazy' and that he can't believe his fortune to now have finally found someone normal.  You are being praised and/or worshiped in someway that feels good a this moment.

And now I will tell you that this all comes to an end.  He will find your weak spots and exploit them.  He will find out your fears and exploit them.  He will intentionally creak havoc and mayhem because he thrives on it- and you will be in the middle of it.  You will start to wonder who the crazy woman is you've become.  You will be confused and not understand.  You will be looking for a way out. If, and that is truly, a BIG IF, you find your way out, the manipulation will continue.  Perhaps for even years.  If you are weak, you may become a princess again, and you may hear promises that things will work out.  If you are strong, you will eventually find your whole self again- but you will be forever changed.  Jaded, and in need of finding inner peace, and in need of answers to how something like that could have happened to you by someone you thought you trusted.  You will also learn what religious abuse is- because it will happen to you.

I would also tell you, that there are others out there who are more deserving of your love. Other out there who would be thrilled to have you as a friend/spouse someday.  There will be someone out there that will encourage and support you for who you are and not who they try to make you out to be.

No title of 'wife', symbol of a ring, or perceived social status of "being married" is worth what you will go through if you don't get out.

I will also share that I am beyond thankful and blessed to have a husband now who treats me with respect, who cares for me far beyond what I imagined, and shares faith with me.  A husband who does not manipulate me, who understand my fears and keeps me safe.  A husband who would give his all for me.

I don't know you; although I've heard your name.  I encourage you to reach out the others who have already gone through what you are likely to endure with time; and really contemplate if that is what you want.  I write this today because I don't ever want to hear another woman say, "Why didn't anyone tell me?"  "Why didn't anyone say anything?"  It is here written...

Monday, July 6, 2015

A much needed "memory-cation"

For whatever reason, this past week has been particularly difficult.  The struggle has been grappling with keeping a positive mind-set and being frustrated and even irritable with many many things.  This isn't a posting in which I will be delving into the minutia of life and agonizingly picking it apart to better understand; it is about keeping happiness near the surface of your heart.

Last evening a wild thunderstorm crept through our area leaving in its wake hours of endless rain.  Rain well into today.  While I'm not one who generally allows myself to be irritated by the weather, I certainly was today.  Plans for biking went out the window, leaving mundane tasks to be completed, that was if I could find the motivation to do them.  I pondered throughout the day what I could do to kick start my internal engine to be satisfied and feel productive.  Really it was just a depressing day.  Yes, cleaning got done, but it got done without feelings of accomplishment.  The dogs got walked and played with, without feelings of accomplishment.    Dinner got made and eaten, also without feeling like anything had been accomplished.  In this self miserious (I just made that word up) funk I tried to think up something I had done that was completely and utterly relaxing and rejuvenating.   I had just the memory. The Flamingo Spa in Helsinki Finland.  It was a happy memory and I knew just where to go to relax and relive this memory-the shower.  I have often turned to long hot showers to relax and let go of worries and stresses, so it was the perfect place to go into my head for a "memory-cation".

Memories of the Flamingo

I stepped into the shower and brought myself back to the Flamingo.  I instantly recalled the sounds, smells, sights.  The most relaxing described below...

Pool One: The mineral pool.  All worries and stresses are quick to elude the memory while floating on your back with your ears submerged listening to the gentle classical calming underwater music.  Floating, eyes closed, peace enveloping your being, only to be interrupted when you accidentally float into the side of the pool or your legs become so heavy they start falling and your feet hit the pool bottom.  Reality returns but only fleetingly until you are ready to return to some form of grounded relaxation where then you turn to the submerged bubbling water beds.  I think I'll have to mentally return here more often.

Pool Two: A shallow warm bath water pool.  You sit and the water comes up to your chest.  A great place to chat about life's mysteries, future plans, dreams, and so forth with good friends.  I recalled feeling at peace hanging out with my Finnish friends.  Chatting about life.  It reminds me that I should email more often.

Sauna One: Your typical steam sauna.  Relaxation to the core where life weary muscles can relax and rejuvenate.

Sauna Two: A steam sauna.  Two variations if I remember correctly.  The fragrances were different.  Not quite as hot as your typical Finnish sauna but relaxing and rejuvenating.  A wonderful place for continued conversation or friendly silence.

Following these relaxing areas I mentally returned to the salt lounge.

The Salt Lounge:  Flopping down on a couch the air feels cool to my skin but wonderful to breath in.  There are large pieces of salt I'm not sure from where with water running.  Peaceful calming music play and I quickly found myself asleep.  I've since learned that being in a salt room is actually good for respiration.  No wonder I felt so good.  I recalled this memory and am reminded to go visit the Salt Caves in Minneapolis again.

As conversations wind down and returning to reality is necessary a great place to return was the wheel shower.

The Wheel Shower:  This is a great place to end your stay or to reground yourself after relaxing.  The wheel turns and alternating dumps warm and cold water on you.  Rejuvenating and refreshing to say the least.

I shut off the shower and stepped out.  Feeling refreshed and at least ready to face tomorrow with a different mind set.  I will physically return someday, for now, it'll have to be a "memory-cation" when relaxing and rejuvenating is needed.

Where do you go mentally to reset?

Monday, June 22, 2015

20 minute project

Last weekend I spent my time with my sister and her family.  One of the many hundreds of beautiful reasons to have sisters is that they offer up their old clothes.  This super cute sun dress was given to me...

Let's be honest, it's adorable!  Here is the thing Lori is about 6 inches shorter than I am, so while I would love to have been able to wear the sundress as it is, I couldn't.  At 5 feet 9 inches, it barely covered my backside.  While some may favor that look, I'd rather keep my cheeks hidden from the world.  It dawned on me as I mourned a little that I wouldn't be able to wear this lively piece, that I could perhaps modify the dress into a skirt.  Which brings me to this lovely skirt that I no longer wore and was taking up space in the dresser.

the remainder of this skirt will eventually be used for something
So, I cut the top off the skirt.  The portion that folds over.  I also cut the top off the dress right above the elastic (making sure to keep it) which was intended for the A-line waist of the original dress.  I then paired the rights sides together matching up the side seams, pinned, and sewed the top of the skirt onto the bottom of the dress.

super simple!!
 As you can see in the picture I basically sewed over the existing stitch from the original dress.  This was the end result!

Love, love, love it!!
 My husband is off galavanting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with his twin brother.  Well, also visiting his family so I attempted to take a few photos of what the skirt looked like on with my iPhone camera and the timer setting (who knew the iPhone camera had a timer setting??).  The image is blurry but it gives you the jest..

All in all, it took approximately 20 minutes.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MMR Vaccination

I read a lot about the measles vaccination today.  This of course wasn't something I generally would have spent my time doing; however it became of high interest to me after I received a phone call from my employer (I start on Monday).  During the on-boarding process one must be tested for immunity through a titre screen for measles, mumps, and rubella.  Good news was I was immune to mumps and rubella.  Bad news, I was no longer immune to measles.  My first thought was what, wait just one minute... I am no longer immune to measles?

This of course sent me digging into my records.  In review of my shot record this is what I found.  I received my first MMR vaccination on 11/6/1979 I was 18 months old.  I received the second vaccination on 10/20/1994 (according to the record) I was 16 years old.  Regardless, I was immunized.

So why then did my titre screen come back negative for immunity to measles?  This is why I spent my time data mining today.  This is what I found:
1) Measles was on the decline before the vaccination was introduced.
2) With the introduction of the vaccination the eradication was expected in 1966.
3) Full eradication was announced in 2000 (in the U.S).
4) Edward Jenner developed the measles vaccine in 1798- although there are reports of using vaccinations in ancient times.
5) A single shot was expect to provide life long immunity.
6) In 1990 all children entering kindergarten needed to prove that had two immunizations of the MMR due to failure to provide immunity after only one shot.
7) The second dose was often given at the entrance to middle school or high school (which would explain why I was 16 at the second dosing).
8) Natural exposure to measles provided stronger and longer immunity to the disease than the actual vaccination.  (Although, given the possible rates of mortality with measles I would not want to take the risk of being exposed naturally).
9) Estimated immunity with the vaccine is estimated around 25 years per one scientist.  Immunity from natural exposure was upwards of 65 years according to the same scientist.
10) And lastly, the MMR vaccination provided better immunity after 1980 when a stable live vaccine was available.

So these points of course are points I found of interest, I cannot speak of the validity as I did not dig knee deep into peer reviewed articles or anything of that sort.  I simply data mined what was readily available.

In the end, I received my third vaccination for MMR today 6/11/2015, at the age of 37, I will receive a second booster shot in about a month.  I will start my job on Monday as expected.  While it was a bit of a hassle to go in for an immunization I am forever thankful that a titre screen was done.  I am thankful I did not become to second Measles Mary, as in the New York situation this past year.  Who knows why I lost immunity over time, I did read that some people just do, some don't.  Had I contracted measles I do not know how my body would have reacted given an already compromised immune system (hereditary in nature).  It takes me longer than most to bounce back from seemingly simple viruses, so with that....

I will continue to support vaccinations.  And as already stated, given my compromised immune system due to an autoimmune disease I will continue to avoid and/or refuse to interact with those who have not been immunized.  So, if you are concerned about where you stand with your immunity, go have a titre screen done.  For those who are not immunized, it's your choice, I will not get into a fruitless discussion about your opinions and my opinions.  I can respect your choice as I expect you to respect my choice to freely ask and freely choose not to interact if you are not immunized.

| Baby Quilt | Hobbies |

One evening I decided I was going to make a baby blanket/quilt for my sister's baby.  I had recently purchased my first sewing machine and completed a few projects.  So why not jump in and start creating.

before starting any project it's important to get your audience comfortable...

The squares are cut: 4" x 4".  The cutting mat, fiberglass ruler, and rotary cutter are a must for straight lines.

the fabric patterns

The squares were laid out and then piled to indicate which row they belonged to and in what order.

and the sewing started and continued for about 2.5 hours.  The Counseling book is what I should have been doing-lesson planning for this fall.

time to pin and trim edges (I put flannel instead of crib backing in the inside)

pinned and trimmed

The final product.  I can't wait to give it to my sister!

So, what do you do with your left overs??

I made a doggie blanket.

Nadia seems to like it.

She might just stay curled up in it for a while. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

goodbye coffee

It's been three weeks since a drop of coffee has entered my mouth spilled over the back of my tongue passing by the valleculae with automatic epiglottal movement to cover the trachea and enter into my esophagus only to be emptied into my stomach.  Three weeks.

I'm entirely unsure at this moment if I miss it or not.  My adrenal glands certainly don't miss it and my sleep/wake patterns are looking better and better with each passing day.  Coffee has not always been my liquid of choice, in fact I was in my early thirties before I even drank it.  I remember the day specifically, I woke up exhausted but determined to make it through the day of work.  I succumbed to following in the footsteps of my roommates who are coffee connoisseurs, one who lovingly has a fun saying about looking for Mr. Right but found Mr Coffee instead; I poured myself half coffee half cream, and thus started my connoisseuring of coffee.  The trajectory path it followed was one of my original cup half coffee half cream, to coffee with fancy cream/sugar, to a little less sugary, to coffee with just a little bit of cream.  This trajectory also included coffee snobbery.  Starbucks was at the bottom of my list, passed up by Caribou and Dunn Brothers.  Starbucks only ranked higher than the Finnish Presidenti coffee- which in my opinion is pure stomach acid.

(side note: did I mention I grew up drinking tea and having tea parties)

How and Why did I give it up?
Three weeks ago, I caught a nasty virus which quickly left me on the brink of dehydration.  I was beside myself thinking that C-Diff had returned and I would be in for another long haul of medications.  Thankfully that was not the case.  The duration of the icky virus was on the longer side of about 6 days.  When you are sick, the last think you are drinking (or at least in my case) is coffee.  The third day of having no coffee, feeling drained and exhausted from trying to stay hydrated, and trying to stave of the pounding headache I had, the thought occurred to me- this headache is from no coffee!!  Further cognitive processes engaged and I made the decision to continue to go without.  While coffee apparently has some health benefits I know for myself it also had downfalls.  For example, waking up tired, and wanting to wear a sign that says, "Instant human, just add coffee" or "No coffee, no talkie". Actually it's sad to think that now that I woke up grumpy- well I usually do, ok beside the point.

Why-I just decided I didn't need it anymore.
How- By default and choice to continue to go without.  The headache!  I never want to experience again- withdrawl from coffee headache-terrible!

I'm back to the beginning- drinking tea.  I have my Grandma Anna to thank for that!  Well, tea and the tea parties.

So long coffee..

Friday, May 1, 2015


Those who know me, know that I became "THAT" dog lady after I adopted Nadia.  The one I vowed I would never be.  When I moved to Duluth from the cities I by default had to stop volunteering as a domestic abuse advocate.  It is important to be involved in your community, and I found I really missed having a place to give of my time, other than work.  One day at the mall I saw a couple selling coupon books along side of them was a great dane; one they had adopted from the humane society.  I was easily drawn in and learned through discussion that photographers were needed.  Thus started my journey to train to volunteer my time for the local animal shelter.  This time however I am using my hobby of photography while volunteering and I couldn't be more pleased.

So, here I am, as "THAT'" dog lady, using photography to help helpless animals in need of loving homes.  Here are a few of the many many shots I took today at the shelter.

While my marshmellow hearted husband would take all animals home, it wouldn't be the humane thing to hoard them.  The humane thing is for me to make them look as beautiful as they are!  Best of luck to all of these little lovers.