Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Pepto Dance

While trying to decide which pictures to use on Wednesday’s post I came across this one and I decided it deserved a post all of its own.

You are probably are probably asking yourself “why does Steph have a picture of her wedding rings with pepto-bismol?” Well let me tell you.

This was before my FAP diagnosis. Back when visiting my college’s health center, where I was told my symptoms were caused by stress. Alternatively, while visiting my family health practitioner, that it was from too much spaghetti sauce. Or when I pursued some holistic answers and was informed it was because I was out of balance. Oh and I can’t forget the countless times I was asked to take a pregnancy test. Every single time I went to a doc and complained of my symptoms, I was asked, “could you possibly be pregnant?”
“No doc.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yup, I am sure.”
“Are you 100% positive that you couldn’t be pregnant?”
“There is no way I could be pregnant.”
“Well okay then . . . lets just have you take a pregnancy test to to rule that out.”

Three years ago, before I had a name to what was wrong with me, Pepto was my bff. I never left home with out it. While getting ready for my wedding, I asked my maid of honor if she would put some pepto in her purse for me. At this point, we may have had a glass or two of champagne. So naturally, we broke out into the pepto-bismol dance. ( Come on, you know  the pepto-bismol dance!) My photographer thought we were hilarious and possible a bit crazy. He ended up doing the standard “wedding rings shot” with the pepto; you know to personalize it (I guess).

San Souci*

Three years ago today, Scott and I ceased to live in sin.  We were married seaside in beautiful Jamaica.    30 family members chose to join us there and celebrate with us.

Really, he wasn't so nervous he was sweating.  It was hot, like really hot.  I swear.  

I love you, Scott.  Here is to many more.  

Hey , my love, you came to me like
wine comes to the mouth
Grown tired of water all the time 
You quench my heart and love
you quench my mind

Celebrate we will
Because life is short but
sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two 
To be sure these days continue
The things we cannot . . 
~DMB "Two step"

(*The name of the resort we stayed at was San Souci, French for "No Worries".)

Monday, April 27, 2009

H 2 uh-oh

“If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” That was our anthem for the weekend; see we had no running water. A pipe had burst over the winter, and instead of flooding the entire lower level, just so we could have water, we shut off the water to the house.

Ok no biggie we thought. We can get drinking water from the store. And the cottage is on a lake! We’ll just haul up lake water to use to flush the toilets. This all would have worked out just fine, if I were a normal person, a person with a colon. But nope, not me I have a j-pouch! It definitely did not help matters that on Saturday I had a hugmongo 4 course dinner! (Hmm. I had warm ciabatta bread with balsamic dipping oil, a fresh salad with goat cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries. For the main course, there was grilled salmon with a baked potato. Oh and dessert! Cherry pie, a la mode of course. Hey leave me alone it was our anniversary dinner! If you are ever in the Higgins/Roscommon area, I highly recommend Gates Ausable Lodge. Hands down the best food around! Just note it is BYOB)

To work the toilets we would haul up 2 buckets of lake water at a time. Two buckets would allow us 2.5 flushes. So out in the rain we would go. Of course, the j-pouch was more active then normal (I am sure that my freakishly large meal had nothing to do with that. Ha!) It is fair to say we were venturing out to fill up the buckets a bit more then we originally expected.

I only slipped and fell once. (Yeah that is good for me.) The worse part of it all was having to roll up our pants and wade out into the lake to where it was deep enough to fill the bucket. Damn that water was cold.

But you know? Even with no running water, an overactive j-pouch, and crappy weather it was all worth it. And I’d do it again. My only regret was not noticing the carpet downstairs getting soggier and soggier sooner. (Sorry Dad. Seriously we feel really bad about that.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Dear Meteorologist,
You predicted mid 70's with a 30% chance of rain showers in the evening. Could you possibly have been anymore wrong? (Well yeah, I guess if it would have snowed, which at times I thought it might, then you definitely would have been more wrong.) It was in the 30's and it never stopped raining, for two days. Not just a little rain either; we’re talking sheets of rain. I know that weather prediction isn't a 100% accurate or anything. But seriously, you didn’t even come close. Maybe you can work on your accuracy for the summer season.
Stolen Colon  

Even with the craptastic weather, our weekend was good. It was definitely eventful, but good nonetheless.  More on that later.  

Friday, April 24, 2009


And we are off . . . up north we go.  Life has been a little tense, to say the least, at the Stolen Colon household.  As some of you know, my husband works for one of the big three. (Ha! Isn't that moniker ironic?!)  There is an endlessly vibrating crack berry, cnn's never ending news ticker, and the incessant emails. The stress behind it all has caused less then stellar moods, for both of us.  We are a team,  what effects one of us also effects the other.  (Which is good point to anyone suffering through an illness, it is not just you, who suffers.  Our loved ones often suffer, silently, right along with us.  There is a stress on our caretakers that we commonly don't recognize.)
So, what do we do here when the stress becomes unbearable, pack our bags and head north, to our solace.  No crackberries, no news, no emails . . . just peace (well at least for 2 days).  
This will be Gracie's intro to "The Cottage".  I know she'll love it, it was/is Koda's favorite place on earth. Gracie and I plan to blow by my previously set record of a 1 mile hike.  There is just something about being in the woods.  The crunch of pine needles beneath my feet, the fresh scent, just the solitude of it all, it is the best way to recharge my batteries and to get in touch with myself. 
Also next week is our wedding anniversary.  This weekend, I will reconnect with the person I fell in love with.  It's easy in the hustle and bustle of life to take someone for granted.  We need to remember to occasionally look at each other as if it is the first time we saw each other.  

When I step into the light my arms open wide
When I step into the light my eyes searching wild
Would you not like to be
Sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free
Would you not like to be ok, ok, ok

When were walking by the water
Splish splash me and you taking a bath
When were walking by the water
Come to my toes to my ankles to my head to my soul
Then I'm blown away
~Lie in Our Graves by DMB

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Signs of Spring

Gracie and I have been trying to get out hiking whenever the weather allows it.  Unfortunately, here in Michigan that is not as often as I would like.   There is something about being out in the woods, where it smells earthy fresh and I'm surrounded by solitude.  It is one of the few places where I can feel fully at peace with everything.  No matter what my mood may be like at the start of the hike, by the end I exit the woods feeling calm and tranquil.  

We hit a new record today, we covered approximately one mile.  May not sound like much to you but let me tell you this isn't just flat surface we are hiking on.  I am pretty proud of myself.  Only one month ago I was only able to cover maybe half a mile and even then I had to take multiple breaks.  

On today's hike, I noticed there are a few subtle cues that Spring may be coming.   

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I guess it was bound to happen

At least it was just me and Scott.  I should have known better.  Last night, in celebratory form I made baked bananas with an orange caramel sauce all over vanilla ice cream.  I ended up paying for that through out most of the night.  But hey my Spartans won, I deemed it worth it.  Then this morning I had a delicious italian frittata.  So good.  And to top it all off we were having a leisurely Sunday drive while drinking a grande coffee.   I guess that was 3 strikes against me.  

My poor husband, the things I subject him too.  Thank God, it was him with me.  Could of been worse.  It could of happened while out in a crowd or in yoga.  Oh the things I'm thankful for.  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Go Green!

On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is winning,
And those Spartans play good ball;
Spartan teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.
Go right through for MSU,
Watch the points keep growing,
Spartan teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening,
We're going to win this game,
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I miss her.

Dearest Koda,

One year ago (tomorrow) you left this physical world. You were too young, just about to turn 5. Our time together was too short. It wasn't suppose to end this way.

It eats me up inside when I think about your death. So alone, so painful. It kills me that I wasn't with you, holding you in my arms. I'm so sorry baby. I should of listened to my instincts and never left you that weekend.

I will never forget the day you choose us to be your forever family. Even though we had no intention of bringing a dog into our home, we stumbled upon you. When I first laid eyes on you I yelled "oh shit!" because deep down inside I knew you were meant for us. I was being too responsible, "our apartment is too small" "I work too many hours", but you quickly changed my mind when you jumped onto the picnic table, placed both paws on my shoulders, looked directly into my eyes and then proceeded to lick my entire face. I then admitted what my soul already knew, we were meant to be together.

Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't ache for you, but I try to cherish all my memories. The good, like when we would be home alone and you would jump up in the bed to sleep with me, but when I would finally drift off you would sneak off to your bed.  Or your uncanny ability to read my emotions, and give me exactly what I needed at that moment like a face full of kisses or some good deep belly laughs.   And the bad, like the time you climbed up on to the kitchen counter and found the food coloring and then decided to dye your white body a rainbow of colors. Or like the time you shredded 48 rolls of toilet paper. When we walked in it looked like it was snowing and there you were in the middle of it all, looking so proud and wiggling your nubbie.

Thank you. My life wouldn't be what it is now if you weren't once a part of it. And thank you for leading us to Gracie Mae. While she will never fill the hole in my heart she has taught me to love again.

Thank you for coming in to my life. You brought so much light and love, I can't imagine those years with out you in them. You have forever left your paw print on my heart.

I love you Koda Marie. Until we meet again.