Madrid Is For Lovers….And For Me 

Well. HELLOOOOOO Madrid!!! We started the last leg of our trip today. Madrid had a lot to live up to after such amazing times in Marbella and Barcelona. What I have been most excited about for this part of the trip is the family aspect. I have been anticipating a true Spanish family feel and have NOT been disappointed (you’ll meet all of them in tomorrow’s blog).

I wasn’t sure if the city exploring was going to live up to what we had already seen. Then, once we got off the metro, it was like Madrid said “girl, please….get over here and let me show you what we got”

SITES

At first it was cloudy and colder. We needed to sit by the heaters to enjoy lunch outside. But then, the skies cleared. The bluest sky came through and we enjoyed THE MOST BEAUTIFUL park walk. This park made Central Park feel uninteresting and underwhelming (Sorry NYC, you still have great pizza going for ya). Most of my pics were taken on the real camera today (thanks Apple for crappy iPhone battery life these days), but the ones I did get on my phone didn’t even need a filter to make the colors pop! The sky really is that blue!!!

The very first thing I noticed when we got into the park (after I scooped up a pair of fake Nikes from the street vendor) was how it could be so easy to fall in love here. There were people kissing, street musicians playing, little rowing boats. Ah. I couldn’t even hate it! If my future husband is reading this, go ahead and book a trip for us……kiss me by the fountain, buy me an ice cream and then let’s rent a segway and laugh at how clumsy I would probably be on it😝


FOOD

It will be hard for America to convince me to have certain things again, like cappuccino and tuna. I don’t know of any places that could match what I have tasted here. The food is just so good. I neber thought I would be this rmotional about food or even have that mich to carry on about it. But here, you definitely do. So much in fact, that when we shared a table with some other people who didn’t even show ANY emotion over their tapas, I was annoyed at them! The homemade food is even better! Tonight for family dinner we enjoyed homemade paella and a pear dessert that is probably illegal somewhere, it’s so good!! I LOVE that dinner in itself here is an event. It’s not just eat and done. We visit for hours with lots of laughter! If anyone in this country goes to bed hungry and sad, they are crazy!!


SHOPPING

I hate shopping. I truly do. But I sure found a way to love it with all the fantastic shops here. Any shop you could ever want. Our fav from today was Primark. It’s 5 stories, cheap prices and good stuff! I fell victim to so many things that I have had to buy another suitcase. How silly of me to declare before I came that I wasn’t interested in buying anything I was here. I really thought I meant that 😜


I have two HUGE regrets today. Not following through with buying this sequined fanny pack (I wish you could see how flashy it was in this pic) and letting the pink glittered wallet get away…….sigh…..


I also am quite envious of this unicorn tape dispenser my friend snatched up!

Today was good! Tomorrow is family lunch with the WHOLE Madrid family and I can hardly stand the wait!!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

La Sagrada Familia = las Speechless….Leaving Barcelona 

I would have never guessed that I would physically feel so much attachment and sadness to leave each place we have visited. But I genuinely do feel it. It hurts to leave. Barcelona showed up and left a permanent mark on my heart and spirit!!! 

As I sit on the rainy train back to Madrid, I am already trying so hard to trap every smell, smile, meal, sites and the people we met into my memory, in hopes that it never leaves (and if you know me, you know how my memory works). I am not trying to remember how noisy these trains are, though. People take calls, phones aren’t on silent….just noisy! Thank baby Jesus for headphones and Spotify!!


Our last stop before catching our train was La Sagrada Familia. There was an overwhelming number of recommendations to make sure we fit this into our trip. And from the minute we got out of the taxi, you could clearly see why.

 It honestly, with no exaggeration, took my breath away. You just kinda have to stand there and soak it in for a second before you can go inside. It’s THAT magnificent. There were a couple of moments inside that we just sat in complete silence to absorb all that was around us. What was so cool is that in the spots we did that in, others were doing the same. The silence was so neat. Whether it be because people were saying prayers, making mental notes of their surroundings or just in deep thought…..it brought a soothing atmosphere and commonality to an area filled with so many differences. 

I’m still not very knowledgeable about who this Gaudi guy is that created all these incredible buildings, but I sure would’ve loved to have sat him down for a cup of coffee and tap into even a fraction of his mind!


I could go on and on, but I will let you do your own digging on this place (and it’s more than worth spending a few clicks to read about it) and let some of these pics do the rest of the talking. Although, I’m not sure there is a picture out there that can truly capture how incredible this place is (plus these are just from my phone. Can’t wait to see the “real camera” ones). I loved the basement workshop and scale models almost as much as the basilica itself. I searched the whole gift shop for a pic that would ignite the feeling I had so that I could bring it back, hang it in my place, and feel that breathless feeling over and over. I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, but I do regret not bringing this poster back with me!!


Goodbye Barcelona. Thank you for the love. You truly swept me off my feet. ❤️
Now I have to get back to my Madrid family and smother my girl with lots of hugs!!!! 



Fancy Pants and French Don’t Mix…

Biggest accomplishment today? Hailing a cab in the pouring down rain in Barcelona. Pretty much a city girl now! 🙂

I love that no two cab rides here have taken the same route! Its afforded us to see other parts of the city , albeit speedy!
It was a national holiday here so the town was actually quite “dead” so to speak. Shops were closed. The streets weren’t busy.


And then it started raining. And. It. Has. Not. Stopped.


Not to worry, we still enjoyed the city. I am amazed at Gaudi’s work here! I will let a preview of the pics do the talking (even though they don’t do it justice) until I get my “real camera” pics loaded. Speaking of, it has been so weird to use an actual camera. And the stress of not being able to upload pics immediately …oy vey are we spoiled!!!



Gonna be honest. Wasn’t sure what to expect for the evening….we had mixed plans…

And then we went to Shoko, at the recommendation of our hotel staff. It was great cuisine (as you can see)….and at midnight, it turns into a dance club. Nothing says burn off the calories we just fed you, like taking away your table and turning it into a dance floor. They also offer at table massages. What an indulgence!!!!


We sat by some French guys who were friendly enough to have some convo and drinks. They even invited us over to the “other side” once the club started. One of them, Alex, could possibly be the funniest guy I have met in a while!! We laughed. We danced. We barely understood each other. We told them it was my birthday. There were language barriers. They thought we were from Texas (because foreign people know Texas way more than Arkansas apparently).
Biggest regret of this trip is not having the video of them singing.


Fast forward to getting invited to hang with them in the VIP Section. All fun and games til you sit there like the fat girl at the prom. It was almost the worst….I literally sat there alone, watching everyone have a grand ol time and be hit on. Then I met the two nicest girls from England. They were gorgeous, down to Earth and just kind, which couldn’t have come at a better time (I wish I had pics of them instead of so many of the jerks)!!! As you can see in this pic, I am not hideous……..so why would I let 3 French guys make me feel that way (the 4th guy didn’t, he was the funny one, the one second from the right).

 

Here is the thing, ladies (and men who might relate as well)…..even in a foreign country, a million miles away from home, when people are being completely shallow jerks…you HAVE to love yourself. You HAVE to stop negative thinking dead in it’s tracks. You cannot sit and cry while the world is literally dancing around you. Literally. The city of Barcelona cannot be having the time of it’s life while you’re having a pity party on the VIP couch. Unacceptable. You have to accept that some people are assholes and you have to dance anyway. You have to be thankful that you are experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity that many other will never have. And sometimes, it’s just time to grab a cab back to your hotel and know that you are just fine.


Sleep tight, America! Tomorrow, we take on Madrid!!!!! Can’t wait to get back there and spend my last few days here with the best family!!!!

Tapas and Tiaras…Fancy Goes To Barcelona 

Where do I even begin for today’s recap?Today has been a day that definitely deserves a “hashtag blessed” with no shame. I have used every cliche white girl phrase I know to go on and on about the day!

MY MIND AND MY HAIR

It occurred to me this morning on the way to the train station (as I was furiously typing and journaling notes before I forgot them) that my mind hasn’t been this clear in ages!!!!!! I keep equating it to a visual of a custodian with an industrial broom, sweeping and cleaning up the floor. There is nothing in the room, it’s a clean slate. Ahhhhh….that feeling is so great!!!! I owe Spain big time for that alone.
In America my hair is dry and brittle and I spend an ungodly amount of money to try and make it soft and luscious! In Spain, it’s a dang hair commercial and so soft I can’t do anything with it…yet, I wanna touch it all the time and want everyone to know how soft it is!



HOTEL

Let’s start with the hotel. We are staying at the Olivia Balmes and it is D I V I N E! We were greeted by the best staff. We were early and hoping they would just hold our bags until we could check in, so we wouldn’t have to carry them while we explored. That wasn’t acceptable to them. They instead went ahead and prepared our room AND gave us champagne while we waited! Not to mention, our host Lenin is VERY easy on the eyes! ☺️ There is a rooftop pool (that sadly thanks to unexpected cooler weather, we wont be able to use-but the rooftop in general is pretty awesome), our room is great, we met some lovely people from Connecticut and it’s surprisingly quiet here.

Temperature 

It. Is. perfect. 

Enough said. For me anyway. For my friend and others, it could be interpreted as cold. I will admit that I needed a scarf at dinner, but that is still the just right weather for me!!

FOOD

Our new friend on staff, Lenin, gave us a lunch suggestion and this, people, is where the day gets good!!!! MY GOODNESS the food!! We sat down, allowed our waiter Carlos to order tapas for us and pour us sangria and life just got exponentially better from there. THE FRESHEST tuna, THE MOST succulent crab/tropical salad, some form of chips with a caramel glaze AND…..fried potatoes with fried egg and some magic sauce (this last one- my my my -it’s what I imagined A 6 star Waffle House with a hangover would be 😜). JUST LOOK AT THE FOOD!!!! Praises ALL AROUND!!! I’m not ashamed to say I savored and made sweet love to every bite I took! Tonight we had dinner on the oceanfront, with more huge yachts. It was filled with great convo as well as a phenomenal and peaceful atmosphere! It’s not that busy this time of year, which makes getting into restaurants pretty easy.


SHOPPING

High end shopping was not something we were gonna pass up since the gang is all here (Luis, Gucci, Chanel, Tiffany’s, Hermes, Cartier, etc). We knew we could hang so we did what anyone of our economic stature would do…..we started at Tiffany’s to use the bathroom and stood in line to be admitted to shop Luis V, to get their free water (we were parched, yo) 😝


All joking aside (sort of)……Apparently nobody has huge boobs and butts in Barcelona. I’m literally the only one. It’s fine, it saved my wallet some damage…No one should ever go shopping after eating tapas and a liter of sangria anyway. I finally had to accept the fact that all I was going to try on without feeling like I swallowed 4 Barcelonians, were sunglasses, scarves, earrings and necklaces (not that I’m complaining because I got some cute ones -I mean, look how this necklace fits!!)!!


I don’t know why I spent most of the day talking myself out of a nice treat (like a new Tumi bag that I ended up going back for -scratch that. I ditched the Tumi bag for some AMAZING clothes that I can’t wait to show you! Sneak peak here with this cape…which is totally Bad-A…annddd I’m bringing home a kelly green leather jacket -obviously what you read in the next few sentences has been cured!).


I saved hard for this trip so that I wouldn’t worry about things and be able to shop for something nice. Yet, I spent half the day justifying…..as if I didn’t deserve it. And that is simply not true. It’s ok to buy nice things on vacation. Thankful for a friend who has reminded me of that, and a frw other things!


My dinner outfit was the perfect find for a fall night in Barcelona!! Thankfully after whining about clothes, my friend found a store for me and I RACKED UP! She did too with this great sheep leather jacket!


THE BUILDINGS

Today was more of a shopping day. You can’t shop tomorrow because they are all closed for Columbus day. So tomorrow, we hit the architecture. All the buildings are so great, but I am especially excited to explore Gaudi!!!!

Dear Guy Who Stood Me Up Tonight…..

To the guy who stood me up today:

😎

Thank you for doing that. No, really. I mean it. It’s been a rough week. I felt better enough to shower and curl my hair a little, line my lips and “smokey my eyes” for you. It was the first time this week that I felt good about my appearance.


I wondered if you would notice my new lipstick. I mean, you wouldn’t know it was new. But maybe you would just notice a brightness to them in general. I used a new perfume. It was the perfect mix of flowery and sweet. Don’t worry, I only sprayed once. I didn’t want to overwhelm you with loud smells. I imagined which topic of convo we would start with and imagined my smile and witty comebacks in the mirror (yes grown women do that). I even played my “hot date” playlist while I was getting ready to get me in a great mood….as I blew my nose and coughed 4 million times. You know what I was most excited about? That my shoes are too big. Crazy, I know. But apparently since I have lost weight and don’t stay as swollen as much, my shoes are too big. Who would have ever thought!!


Then you were a no show.


I take dating disappointment way better than I used to. I was probably more bummed that I put all that effort into getting ready just to have to wash the makeup back off. I was worried about us being a match on a few levels anyway. You could’ve been a little bit more courteous and actually given me a head’s up that you wouldn’t make it. But you definitely aren’t the first to do that to me. For about 4.2 seconds, I actually wondered what I did to make you lose interest before our first date.


Then I got a text from a friend who needed a visit and drinks. I almost changed out of my outfit and threw my hair in a ponytail to go meet her at the pub down the road. That’s when it hit me. I decided not do either of those things. I kept it all on and met her for a bit.


 And you know what? I realized that I have fallen way too far into not giving myself any effort unless it is a potential date or advancement of some relationship (business or personal). I worked really hard to get away from that once. I cannot believe I was headed back there again.


Don’t get me wrong. I love my jammies, ponytail and makeup free face a lot. A whole lot. But what I need to love and value more are those dear to me….and myself. And both of those things deserve good makeup, good perfume, great hair and good outfits WAY MORE than some first date does.


So, I walked into that pub like I meant it. I laughed and loved on my friend. She encouraged me without even knowing I needed it. Something that would’ve never happened if I would’ve been out trying to impress you. I think I was trying to fill a void with you after being sick and pouty and lonely this week. A void that I know damn well couldn’t be filled by you.


Thank you for standing me up. Through it, I am reminded being alone doesn’t mean that I can’t be “satisfied” through genuine time with dear friends. I am realizing how truly tired of dating I really am. I am starting to see that my time and heart would be better served with so many other things I have been wanting to do…and could spend time doing if I wasn’t trying to prove to the world that there is someone decent left and someone decent who will fall in love with me. I realize how tired I am of always being the one to initiate and progress the conversation and relationship. It gets awfully quiet when you wait on someone to text you first or finally ask you out and initiate real plans. I am reminded that I can put makeup on and curl my hair on a random weekday, in between nose blowing sessions, just because I want to. I was reminded of a path I promised to never take again and can now look at my map and explore another road.


If I ever do run across you again, I will gladly by you a drink to thank you for tonight.

The One That Got Away

You know how sometimes you just know?  You KNOW that was the right job to take.  You KNOW moving to that new city was just right.  You KNOW that coffee and caramel and whip cream all go together.  You just KNOW.

Imagine walking into a room and just KNOWING that what was across the way was meant for you.  Sure, you might pass by it trying to convince yourself that your mind is just playing tricks on you.  You try to amuse yourself with other distractions as to forget about what you knew when you first walked in.  You try to ignore that feeling in the pit of your stomach and the increased beats of your heart.  You might even try to fill that space that you KNOW is supposed to be filled with just this one thing, with other things instead.

But sometimes you just know.  So, finally you drift over to that part of the room where THAT THING is waiting on you.  You reach out for just a soft touch and before you know it, arms are intertwined and you lose all inhibition.  

That folks, is what it felt like when I went into Target recently.  This furry vest drew me in like a moth to a flame.  I tried other areas of the store for comfort.  I am not supposed to be buying new clothes anyway so I needed to just put it out of my mind.  Ok, maybe I’ll buy something new, but there is no reason for me to own a pink furry vest.  I will just buy shoes instead.  Nope.  Nothing satisfied.  I finally go over to try the vest on and convince myself that it just didn’t look right.  I didn’t need the added layers on my body.  Where would I really wear it to anyway?  We just weren’t a match, I told myself.  It would never work.  

 

So, I left it. Hanging here for someone else to love.  I’ll never be the same.  

Even though this was maybe written a bit dramatically for a fur vest, it resembles my life more than I care to talk about.  I cannot keep letting things get away just because I convince myself that I shouldn’t have them!  If you KNOW something, if you feel it in all your bones and your heart beats faster for it…..then you have to go after it.  It doesn’t have to to work.  It doesn’t have to be the greatest thing you’ve ever done.  But it cannot go unapproached.  It just can’t!

Farewell pink furry vest of greatness.  I will never forget the lesson you have taught me.  

Casually Sequined

When is it ok to wear sequins to work?

Answer:  It is always ok to wear sequins to work.
One of my fav go to casual outfits.  Covered in feathers today and my hair is cooperating.  It’s gonna be a fantastic Friday for sure! Great tops, fabulous old-school clock necklace and awesome chunky bracelet.
Oh, and a selfie with my dog, because, duh….🐾❤️
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I’m feeling extra casual and random today but this outfit makes me feel like I put way more effort into being cute than I did.  It’s ok to say out loud that you’re cute, ya know.  You can do that and you can mean it.  If you don’t feel like you can, just put some sequins on your body and you will magically be transformed into a sassy, confident individual! 🙂
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Here are my top five random thoughts about sequins and other things today:
1.  Sequins are better than boys today.  It’s the first couple of days in a long time that I haven’t thought about my last heart break.  I am moving along from it in way healthier ways than ever before (because, unfortunately, this is the 3rd heart break from the same person).  The way I felt when I put this sequined top on (and the one I wore a few days ago) is honestly better than any guy has made me feel in ages.
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2.  Why do we not feel worthy of wearing something sparkly in every day life?  We should.  Because maybe some extra sparkle is just what this crazy world needs right now.
3.  I hope the people who put sequins on clothes are happy people.  I like to think they are working somewhere that is full of rainbows and unicorns and happy music is playing while they apply them.
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4.  If someone doesn’t appreciate a little sparkle from you (no matter what form you bring it in – sequined clothes or otherwise), then you don’t need them in your life.  And this sweet life is too short to let those people linger.
5.  If you aren’t leaving people in a better condition than when you came across them, then you aren’t doing life right.  So, get to it!
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Pete and Repeat – The Boys That Won’t Go Away

Hooray for a new week!  Some of my favorite outfits are up on deck this week to show you from shopping in my closet as well as some of my favorite stories and life lessons to go with them!  You’re going to see lots of repeats this week.  That was what made putting these together so fun, that I had so many pieces that worked with so many different things!!! 

In the theme of repeats, I figured we might as well talk about repeat boys.  Before your mind starts wondering to places it shouldn’t in reference to repeats (especially you people from my home town that know what a stupid teenager I was), let me clarify.  I mean those repeat offenders that you keep letting back into your life when they have proven so often that they don’t deserve to be there.  You know, the ones that you just can’t seem to cut ties with?  Maybe you’re not always the one bringing them back in, but when they show up, you don’t object.  If repeat offenders were one of those punch cards that when you fill up you get free food, I would have been able to feed my whole family last week!  Was there an old flame haunting convention in town and I missed it?IMG_5086

I am going to try really hard to make this short and sweet when every typing bone in my body could get started and not stop until at least a few chapters were written on just this subject.  In my complete education from the School of Hard Knocks and extreme lack of education in the area of psychology and other “guru doctorness”……here are my reasons/revelations as to why the only repeats I want in my life moving forward are good outfits, good movies and good songs on loop!  Although the following is more of a “me preaching to me” session, I am guessing there is someone else that needs to read it too!

  1.  You only have one heart.  It’s so fragile.  And every time you choose to use it to invest love into someone, you give a little piece of it away (or in my case a big piece).  Whether you want to admit it or not, you literally carve out a piece of it for the person you are choosing to love.  With an organ so very fragile, shouldn’t we take extra care of it and be careful how we give it away?  Because, even though we can glue it back together, or give it some kind of repair when it breaks, it will still never be the same.  Rarely does the person who took that piece you gave them, ever give it back in the same condition it was given in.  If they didn’t handle it correctly the first time, why would we allow them to have another piece.  What happens when you have given so many pieces of your heart away that you have nothing left when the right person does come along?  
  2. You are giving them permission to not change.  So, you broke the ties once (or maybe they broke them for you).  You finally begin to heal and realize that you are moving on in a better direction and that there is new opportunity for you to grow from it (or at least I hope that is the case for you).  Now, for whatever reason, they come knocking on the door of your heart again.  Maybe you invited them back out of loneliness.  Maybe they are coming back out of their own loneliness.  Either way, they’re back and your choice on whether you let them back in or not sends a louder message than you know.  Of course there are the situations where one actually does change and things actually can be repaired.  Often, those are more the exception than the rule.  Remember, the ties were broken for a reason.  And more often than not, you allowing repeat back in sends the message of “You don’t really have to change, I’ll let you back in and my guard will eventually fall enough for you to start the old habits of mistreating me again.”  Be careful of the message it sends to your own heart as well.  You could very well be letting it know “hey heart, I know you were working really hard to repair and move on, but we are gonna go backwards for a bit.”  I am not proud to admit that some have gotten not just one repeat trip, but a few.  IMG_5091
  3. You are delaying your real prize!  When you combine one and two above, you get delay.  See, whether you see it or believe it now or not, there is that one purpose that ONLY YOU are supposed to be.  It wasn’t made for anyone else, so nobody else can receive it.  Same goes for that “one person for you”, if you will.  It’s perfectly ok that you take a rugged path to get there or that you take your time.  It’s even fine to have the hiccups of going through a few wrong people.  BUT, if you don’t move from them and you allow them back, you are only delaying the greatest happening of your life.  You just are.  Man, that hurts to type and swallow for me right now!  I will tell you that finally truly believing that I deserve what is supposed to be for me and believing that there really is something THAT GREAT coming, has made it much easier for me lately to “cut the cord” a lot quicker with repeat bad things in my life (whether it be relationships of any kind, food, unhealthy thoughts, etc).  I want to get to the good that I know is there waiting and I do not want any more delays that I bring upon myself!  Make sense?
  4. You are risking an avalanche.  When you allow the repeats and give just that tiny opening for the brokenness to come back in, it is almost inevitable that it will affect other things in your life as well.  In my situation, it just opens the flood gates for negativity and it usually starts with me attacking myself.  It’s not secret that I am already battling that daily as it is.  It took more restraint than you know not to make this post about all the horrible things I see in these pictures (huge legs, puffy wrists, seven chins, etc).  But, if I take a stand against not allowing repeat “bad heart treaters” in my life, then that includes repeat self-hate.

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As usual, I rattled way more than I intended to!  I hope that you get what I am saying and that you truly understand how precious you and that big ol’ heart of yours are!  Let’s end the repeat boys right there and get over to some good repeats, like this outfit! 🙂  This chami was purchased for less than a Sonic drink and goes with SO MANY things in my closet!  First up, is how it looks with this cardigan.  Don’t you just love a long cardigan?  I will have to have the same talk with myself as I do every year.  I will stand in the mirror and say “Alicia, you cannot wear a cardigan every single day this fall/winter.  You have to give the other great pieces in your closet some love too!”.  

Before you go, can we also just please take a minute to drool over these FABULOUS shoes and that great hat?  My exchange student insisted that I bring the hat into the wardrobe family and I am so glad she did!!  These shoes.  Well, these shoes are filling a hole that no man could fill anyway right now! :p 

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Diagnosis for one please…corner booth is fine

This one is going to be a bit long. But I have to give you the background so that you’ll get the “where I am now” stuff. And there is just no short way around that. I guess I could do a video and talk. But, it’s been a long day. The bra has already come off and the wrinkle cream has already been applied for the night. That doesn’t make good video for anybody! 🙂 Just enjoy another cute pic of my dog instead. 

  

Since March, I have had a rash that has come and gone on my chest. Every time it has come back, it has come back larger and more bothersome than the time before. Certain things caused itching (at one point a Dr told me I was allergic to beer and wine *GASP*). I tend to be a stubborn patient and think that I can figure out my own treatments but this issue was giving me a run for my money. 

I finally caved and decided to see a dermatologist thinking I would get a quick steroid shot and move along. When I called the doctor’s office, I was told it would be a three week wait to get in. Randomly (ok, honestly, as you’ll see in the next couple of sentences, it wasn’t random at all. It was God) the receptionist asks of she can put me on hold. Being the good “waiter” that I am (extreme sarcasm), I tell her yes and proceed to stir frustrations in my head about it being so long to get an appointment and that I waited so long in general to even call when I was in so much misery. The receptionist comes back on the line to tell me they actually had a cancellation and would be able to see me that day at 4pm (there’s the God part that I don’t even realize til later)!
I get to my appointment and when the doctor walks in, I start to give her my diagnosis since I am clearly a better doctor than her. I just need her to go along with my medical plan that I have already researched and then send me on my way. I am busy after all. She politely lets me finish and even listens to a few of my awkward jokes. Am I the only one who handles bad situations with awkward humor? 

  
Then, it happens. She turns to me squarely in her seat and says “I am very concerned. This is not good.” A bit shocked and taken aback by her sternness, I just sit there trying to remain calm and figure out what to say next. In the course of ten minutes, she throws out the word cancer, chronic illness, worst case scenario and a host of other things that were all a blur after I left. She explained the urgency in figuring this out so that a treatment plan could begin immediately. I was told that worst case scenario would be one thing (the C word) but even “best case” would be life altering and that I needed to prepare for that…..YIKES! What? Slow down lady!! The next thing I know, I am having a needle biopsy and sent on my way to wait. Just wait. Just go on about my business like I wasn’t just told I probably have cancer or some chronic disease. I was in no mood to hear words of comfort and the clichés of “It will all be fine. God’s got this.” I know that makes me terrible. Why wouldn’t I want words of encouragement and support? Then, it dawned on me. Ummm, you got an appointment that was supposed to take three weeks. You have a concerned doctor who isn’t willing to waste time. How about we stop being miss pissypants and do a little trusting here!

  
Waiting is torture. Waiting for an over thinker like me is worse. The next 7-10 days were going to be the longest of my life. THE COOL growth moment though was that I asked for prayer from the wonderful world of internet friends and I accepted what was the next step in my life. There is a certain calm and peace that comes with knowing that you are absolutely not in control BUT YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY surrounded by the highest resource of all and equipped to walk the path that is laid out for you. 

  
Fast forward to the next week. In a moment of waiting weakness, I call to see if the results are back. On the other end of the phone I hear “oh. No. They aren’t. We actually sent them to UAMS for further testing. We didn’t like what we were seeing so we sent it there to rule some things out. That will add another 7-10 days Ms. Elmore. I can try to tell them you are worried and get it back faster.” Ummmmm. Ok. What? Well this isn’t awesome. At all. Next came more tests, more samples being taken and a lower tolerance for that peace and calm and patience stuff I mentioned earlier. 

  
You know what else was frustrating? The fact that I had a host of other symptoms that pointed to this a long time ago but was told that “I just needed to lose weight.” Because, in case you’re wondering, that fixes everything. Before you jump on a hate wagon, I am not in denial that I need to lose weight in the least. I am reminded of it every morning when my side mirror shows my reflection getting out if the shower. I am just saying that is not always the root cause and not always as easy as it is for a doctor to let it come off of their tongue. ANYWAY….i digress. 

  
After 14 very long days, a ton of prayer and some pretty great lesson learning, I finally got my results (and finally got all of these annoying stitches out). I am ecstatic to say that it is NOT cancer. But, as previously mentioned, “best case” scenario would still be life altering. It looks like I am dealing with a wonderful diagnosis of Connective Tissue Disease and most likely Lupus. Further blood work will determine what level I am at and treatment will begin immediately since there is already signs of some organ damage, etc. Still a bit scary, but at least it’s manageable and at least it’s NOT cancer. 

  
I don’t know much about Lupus and I promised my doctor that I would stay off of the internet research wagon (for now). What I do know is this:

1. I am about to be the coolest Lupus patient out there!! If there is fun to be had with this, I am about to have it. 

2. I have the best support network there is and I hope that they stick this out with me. 

3. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how people will view me. 

4. I will NOT let me convince myself that I am never going to find a life partner especially now that I have some weirdo disease to tote around. (Ok maybe I have already had a moment or two like that over the last couple of weeks but I swear I slapped it out and sent them on their way). 
There is testimony in my battle, even if I don’t see it yet. Wait. It’s not even a battle (the battle has already been won), it’s a path. And I will carry some glitter to make sure it sparkles and good music to dance to along the way!!