Saturday, December 1, 2012

O Tannenbaum

Our first Christmas tree as married people is awesome, and this is why:

Awesome thing #1: We found a great deal on it and the store was out of stock so they let us buy the floor sample. (Husband didn't think stores did that and was embarrassed when I asked, and this is the second time it's worked.  The first time involved a lamp.)

Awesome thing #2: I had a hunch if I hoarded items throughout my single life they'd come in handy as a married person and I was right.  Good thing I remembered on my wedding day to grab the tree skirt that's been chillin' in my cedar chest since I was 14.

Awesome thing(s) #3: Our tree is multi-cultural.  Ornaments include:

  • miniature disco balls from Taiwan purchased when I went there for my brother's wedding
  • olive wood cut outs from Jerusalem from my semester in Israel
  • a couple of do-dads from China given to me by a friend who made a trip last year
  • a felted boot from Steamboat Springs picked up during our honeymoon
  • a Tiffany-esque stained glass harp from my trip to Ireland
  • old fashioned home-made paper decorations made with love here in the US of A.  
(All ornaments actually purchased on-location by myself or others. Not just like, stickered with "made in China".)  We also have a few fake Gerber daisies stuck in the tree as well (we had to get creative) given to me by my old roommate who is Mexican, but I don't know if that counts.

Awesome thing #4:  It's ours.

Those are totally homemade stockings on the wall.  Crafty wife FTW.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something about this boy makes me bad at preparing rice

The first meal I ever prepared for my husband (we were acquaintances at the time) was the same meal I made for myself tonight: Ling Ling Potstickers and rice.  My dinner tonight was waaay better than that first attempt.  You'd think this would be the easiest meal ever; it involves boiling the potstickers for 5-6 minutes and cooking rice and water for 20 min or so.

Somehow my roommate and I were way off with the rice vs water proportions and all attempts to rectify the situation were unsuccessful.  The rice was under-cooked and burned all at the same time.  We openly acknowledged our failure because I think the next worse thing to ruining dinner is to have the dinner guests feel obligated to eat and like it anyway. He and his roommate who participated in the meal were very gracious and mostly avoided the rice per our suggestion.  I remember feeling like this was an opportunity to prove myself as a capable cook to two handsome single men that I wanted to take me on a date (not at the same time), and I'd failed miserably.

I promise I'd cooked good rice before, but I don't think I have ever cooked good rice since.  I remember the right proportions now, but something goes wonky every time and it comes out too wet or too dry, overcooked or under-cooked. I still eat it, as punishment for my failure.  He still eats it, because he loves me (or is just not motivated to make a new batch himself... let's be real, it's probably that).

The last batch I made was the best so far, but that isn't much praise.  Its like being optimistic about job growth when the percentage is only back to sorry threshold it started at (zing!  sorry I've been reading politics most of the evening so I can feel like an informed voter).  The batch was still a bit dry, but at least it wasn't wet and congealing.  It makes me feel slightly better to learn that the altitude may have something to do with my failures, but only slightly.  It's still just grain and water.  How can somebody screw it up so many times?

Yesterday he made the rice for our lunch, probably the first or maybe second time since our marriage.  It turned out perfectly.  I don't know how he does it.  I vote him rice master of the family in perpetuity.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A few things

The good news is I'm not allergic to pineapple or anything else I ingested the night before anaphylaxis.  The bad news is I'm not allergic to pineapple or anything else I ingested the night before anaphylaxis, yet I still went into anaphylaxis and I have no idea why.  Its like living with a live wire.  I keep EpiPen nearby.

My name is officially changed on the records of the Social Security Administration of the United States of America.  I am Sadie Hopkins.  And I'm officially one of those people.  Those people you tell your friends and coworkers and the people you sit by on the train that you know somebody whose name sounds like something ridiculous. 

"I know this girl, after she got married her name was Sadie Hopkins!  Almost like Sadie Hawkins!  Hahahaa! So funny!"

I know this will happen because I do it.  I guess turnabout is fair play.  It's a really good thing I love my husband and embrace his name. No need to leave a comment because it will probably fall into one of the following categories:
  1. OMG!  I totally didn't realize that!  That's funny/awesome/amazing/[insert overused adjective]!
  2. Awe, I think your name is cute...!  Love you! ;-)
  3. Neither of the above, but something trying to be witty or original but sounds forced and lame instead
It may be callous, but I'd rather you didn't comment on it at all.  I've had Sadie Hawkins comments my whole life, and now it's even worse.  Newsflash: I know my name and what it sounds like, so no need to bring it up.  To me it represents my commitment to our family unit and because of that I love it.  Don't ruin it for me.

I'm watching the presidential debate right now, mostly because it's being held down the street (literally, down the block from my apartment) and so I feel like I should watch it.  It will probably make me angry.  Most of the time I feel like both sides are talking in circles and saying the same thing in different ways.  It's hard to believe anything either side says.  They sound so mean criticizing each other and bending what's said.  It gives me anxiety and makes me want to punch everyone in the face.  I respect the office of the President, but I don't respect the way these people jocky for it.

I posted some wedding and engagement photos on Facebook.  If we aren't facebook friends, or you don't feel like looking through a lot of pictures, I'll save you trouble and give you two of my favorites:

(c) Claire Marika Buys
(c) Lisa Wise Photography

Sunday, September 2, 2012

So I guess I have an allergy

Around 5am on the Wednesday of our honeymoon, I woke up and in my half-sleep stupor scratched at an itch on my belly and realized I needed to use the bathroom.  I knew I couldn't go back to sleep if I needed to pee, so I got up.  When I looked in the mirror in the bathroom, I noticed by chin was all red.  Weird, I thought.  Maybe I got sunburned?  Then as I scratched at the itch on my belly I noticed I was actually scratching red spots.  Chicken pox?  I had chicken pox on my 5th birthday so that didn't make sense.  What else could it be?  I was all confused and sleepy and just wanted to go back to bed.

I climbed back into bed, but I couldn't sleep.  I thought about the spots and I continued to itch.  I got on my phone and started Googling chicken pox symptoms (I was definitely not fully awake still).  After 20-30 minutes I got up again and went into the bathroom.  Now my nose was red and swollen, the redness was spreading to my forehead, and I noticed my lips were definitely not normal.  I stopped Googling unhelpful things and started Googling the nearest urgent care or ER.  I naively hoped I could just sleep though whatever was happening until, like, dawn, but then I noticed the spots on my arms.

I finally decided to alert my husband.  I climbed on the bed and gave him a soft shake and said his name. He quickly rolled over. "I think there's something wrong."  I tried to sound calm.  This kid has been my husband less than 4 days.  I didn't want to give him a heart attack. But my resolve all broke down when I pleaded pathetically "Look at my face!"

Since it was still pre-dawn, of course he couldn't see anything.  I pulled his groggily alarmed self to the bathroom and turned on the light.  Ya, something was definitely wrong, even worse than when I checked 10 minutes earlier.  We quickly dressed.  He started to search on his phone and I told him I already found the ER just up the street so we headed out.  

I still didn't want to make him worry too much, but I also didn't want to gloss over anything that might be really serious, so I quietly murmured that I thought the itchy spots were going down my throat.  He drove a little faster.

Thankfully, there isn't much going on in the Yampa Valley Medical Center ER at 6am on a Wednesday in August.  When I reached for the pen to sign the paperwork the admitting lady saw my arm (totally covered in rash by now) and asked if that was normal.  Nope, that is why we're here lady and there's lots more where that came from.  She said it certainly looked like I had a good case of the hives.  If "good" means I'm covered from head to knees, then yes.

I got taken back immediately by the nice night nurse who quizzed by about my most recent behavior and food while a tech hooked me up to an IV.  They loaded me up with Benadryl.  Husband finally joined me after finishing answering questions up front.  The Benadryl started working soon and the itching started to abate.  Then it started coming back so they finally gave me a few other things which combined finally stopped and reversed all my symptoms.  Pretty soon they sent us away with directions for staving off further reaction.  In all we were only there about 2 hours, but I left feeling 100% better than when I arrived.

We were supposed to do an ATV tour that morning, but thankfully they let us reschedule for Friday.  I slept off the Benadryl most of the day while Husband went to the store to fetch medicines.  Bless him. He was so patient and sympathetic and totally not spending his honeymoon how anyone wishes or imagines he'll spend it.  Thankfully I felt well enough to go out later for food, and we were able to participate in all other scheduled activities the rest of the week.  

So there's my first anaphylactic reaction.  I'm probably allergic to something on the pizza I had for dinner the night before. My appointment with an allergist last week wasn't entirely conclusive; we ruled out more than we discovered. The uncertainty makes me paranoid.  I've never had a reaction like that before, and I hope I never have it again.  EpiPen is my new security blanket.

The only conclusive result is I'm with 100% certainty allergic to cats (sorry Mom, I guess I can never take Ms. Kitty) and I'm about 70% certain allergic to dogs.  Possibly allergic to barley.  I'll have a followup appointment in a couple of weeks to bring the pizza ingredient list and do a few more skin tests using fresh foods since they can generate a different reaction than the commercially-produced tests the allergist has in the office.

Please pray it wasn't the pineapple!  

Friday, August 31, 2012

I enjoy casually referring to my husband...

Photo by Susan Anderson, used with permission
...but not as much as I enjoy saying goodnight without saying goodbye.

It's true.  I'm a married woman.  Our wedding day was full of family and sunshine and good food and love.  Everything was how I wanted it.  I defied everyone who told me I wouldn't have time to think or eat or finish details myself or remember who was there.  I ate aplenty, put finishing touches on my centerpieces, remember what the sealer said at the ceremony, remember who was in attendance.  I did it all by planning for it and not letting the material details become more important than my marriage when all was said and done.

I appreciate all those who collaborated to make our day happen so well.  Many helped weed and make fences and plant flowers haul dirt and rocks for months beforehand.  My brother Benji spent weeks this summer commuting from Utah to put in a new pond and water feature my parents' garden for the reception.  My mom coordinated  reception details and carried out my wishes despite simultaneously planning a move to Seattle for Scott's treatment.

Family and friends worked especially hard the week before doing "last things" on top of throwing me a shower, attending the temple with me, and juggling all  the other things that go on that time of the summer before anyone decides to get married.  Aunts and cousins and friends and family all willingly helped set up, kept things going, then took down.  It was beautiful and I loved the whole day.

On top of it all, everyone thought the two of us getting married was a great idea.  We didn't necessarily need anyone's approval, but it's still nice to have it all the same.

THANK YOU everybody.  Thanks for making the day possible, not just in the details of a wedding, but contributing to our lives.  Because of the people we turned out to be, he found me and now we're married and I'm just really happy about the whole thing.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Sometimes I think about how I should blog, and then I think "meh, maybe later" and then I never do.  Partly because I haven't had internet at home in 2.5 years, and partly because I'd much rather hang out after work with Future Husband than get back on a computer.

But to appease my fans, here are a few highlights from the last 6 weeks:

  • I was told the benefit BBQ was a successful function.  Lots of love and support poured in from the community from both people who know our family and some who don't.  The PayPal link is still active if you want to contribute.  He still has cancer, and it's still expensive.
  • I attended a family reunion in Utah.  FH had to work, so I flew solo (literally.  I flew into the Provo Airport, where baggage claim is the parking lot, and the parking lot is baggage claim).  But I spent quality time with his folks and my folks and good times were had by all.
  • I'm still getting married and had a local bridal shower planned by my old housemate.  It was fun to have most of the women that have become my good friends over the last couple years around me all at once to celebrate the happy event.  It was probably the first time I've ever been to a shower when I didn't win a game, but it's still the best shower I've been to because I got the presents :).
  • I moved into our new apartment a couple of weeks ago and been living here alone.  This is the first time I've ever lived by completely by myself.  It's true what they say: walking around in your underwear is totally the best part, and next best is stocking the fridge with ice cream that I don't have to share.  The best thing about all of this is once I'm married, I don't have to change!  Future Husband is lactose intolerant.
  • Scott's body finally responded to chemo and his cancer levels have dropped low enough to plan for a bone marrow transplant!  On top of that (details seem to change every day, but this is the current status) it looks like my entire family will be home for the wedding!  Because the next part of his treatment needs to happen stat, Scott was scheduled to go to Seattle the Monday before the wedding.  So over the last few months he couldn't come, then could, then couldn't, then mom couldn't come for anything but the day-of, and now it looks like they'll both be there for everything.  Nothing ever seems like a sure thing, but apparently the current state of things looks reliable.  A delayed test is resulting in delayed departure for treatment.  We shall happily blame it on my ever-prayerful mother.  One time her prayers screwed up flights across Europe.  True story.
  • No other family member has been hospitalized.  This is noteworthy.  Oh wait, I think my nephew broke his wrist or something.  Fail.  But I think it was an outpatient kind of visit.  Half fail.
  • I did not go to any midnight showing of any movie.  Unfortunately, many people did just down the street (literally) from where I've lived the last year and a half.  I had moved into my apartment by then so I was free and clear of the action, but I know a couple people and heard of many more who had close calls that night.  Pretty scary.
  • FH and I drove the scenic Guanella Pass and hiked to some mountain lakes.  Made me feel like a real Coloradan.
Photos, because it's been a while. 
Here I am really excited about glass storage canisters

Probably around 10,000 feet above sea level.  Sometimes it was hard to breath.

In true cliche style, our first meal in our first home: takeout with  storage boxes for a table.

We went to a museum and learned about the Fremont Indians.  Then my nephew demonstrated the lifestyle.
I love this photo so much.  And yes, he has a mow-hawk.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends

This post sucks, because it's about something I hoped I'd never have to address ever again.

This post is also awesome, because my life is full of wonderful people who do wonderful thing and mean a lot to me.

Some of you long-time readers may remember this post.  Though it seemed to announce something happy and conclusive, the mood was muted because it was one of the most uncertain times in my family's life because we just had to sit and wait. And wait. And wait to see if all those years of treatment did any good.

And it did do good.  He prospered, enjoyed life, finished high school, got a job, got accepted to college, reestablished his dominance in the local archery club, and prepared to serve an LDS mission.  Last December he left to serve a mission in New England and loved every freezing minute.  He worked hard and his passion for the work eeked through his brief but classic-Scott weekly emails home.  He was strong and healthier (and I'd wager happier too) than he'd ever been as he served God and his fellow men.

As I mentioned in my former post, after his treatments ended he continued to have regular tests to make sure he was still in the clear.  Once in a while something turned up weird in a test, but it was never sustained or cause for real worry.  He continued these tests on his mission.  In March he had a test done, but this time something indicative turned up in a routine blood test.  They biopsied his marrow and bad news.

Two days later he returned home.  Day after that he was back at the hospital starting new rounds of chemo.

It feels like we're back to square zero (square one didn't work out).  His best long-term treatment option at this point is a bone marrow transplant.  That'll happen if/when his cancer is in remission (or down to 0% in his bones) which is still isn't and stubbornly won't go.  With a miracle, a transplant will happen this summer right around my wedding, but that's better than it never happening at all.  After the transplant he'll go through a lot of other crap for another couple of years to encourage the transplant to work and keep working while trying to stave off new complications and diseases transplants can lead to that could potentially kill him.

Experience isn't much good in a situation like this.  It isn't any easier for him; it isn't any easier for us.  In fact, since it already happened once, that means everything is worse.

As you can imagine, this is all very hard and complicated and expensive and just plain awful.  Throw in a couple of deaths in the family, a sibling with kidney failure needing a transplant (and a perfect donor match with Scott, ironically), a birth, an engagement, a cousin with a cancer diagnosis, and another sibling with pancreitis and gall bladder surgery....I can't make this stuff up.  Why would I want to?  It's been the kind of roller coaster of a spring I wish I never have to go through again.

But there is balm in Gilead.  People are awesome and helpful and giving and caring and love us.  They can't change what's happening, but they can sure make it easier to live through.  Some of these awesome people include my extended family.  Some cousins are organizing a benefit on June 30 in northern Idaho at the Dalton City Park.  There will be food and music and activities for the whole family with all proceeds going toward expenses related to Scott's treatments.  Leave a comment below if you'd like particulars about time and location, if you'd like to volunteer to help, or if you'd like to donate time or goods to the silent auction.  I can send you an event invite on Facebook too.

If you can't attend or help and still want to contribute, they've set up a PayPal donation account HERE.  I've also put up a convenient little button to donate from this here blog.  If you have your own PayPal account set up, you can send a gift to scottfights(at) any time.  You can also use that email to correspond with Scott. 

If you read this blog, chances are you are cool people who care about things.  I hope you care about this and help us spread the word.  Oh by the way we're trying to keep it from Scott for now, sort of a surprise thing plus he doesn't really like the attention, so if you know him don't let on anything is going on yet, especially if you email him.

Sometimes the only way we can get by is through a little help from our friends.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Self discovery

It's amazing all the things I never knew about myself before this stage of my life.

I know that lots of people don't want to form committed relationships--to another person, to education, to a vocation-- until they "know themselves", and maybe that works out for them.  But for me, I always accepted that I could only progress so far toward self actualization by myself.  I need the influence of outside factors to push me in ways I never could have thought of in order to grow in ways I never knew I needed growth. 

I especially recognized that there are a lot of potentialities that can only be realized through the influence of other people in my life, particularly a "significant other".  What surprises me are the forms my growth is taking.  I found I'm finally developing my personal "living" style.  I've felt pretty assured of my style of dress as I've had sole control of my wardrobe since about age 14, but since I've never had to opportunity to actually furnish an entire living space from start to finish.

When Future Husband (FH) and I started building our gift registries, I realized recently that I had no idea what I liked and wanted.  The only thing we got nailed down our first trip to Bed Bath & Beyond was our casual silverware (He's a spoon person, I'm a fork person.  They have to fit just right in the hand.  I'm sure passers-by were wondering why we kept manhandling all the displays).

We persevered (or rather, I muddled on while FH exercised great patience) and finally found all our essentials.  That's a feat because I'm easily paralyzed by too many options or equal options (another recent self-discovery).  Seeing all the different tools I could use to stir noodles was overwhelming.  But I learned to remind myself whether or not the decision actually mattered, and if it didn't it was OK to blindly choose one and move on, or I'd defer to FH who was blessed with plenty of decision.  After that breakthrough, it was way easier.

It's been interesting to see my taste emerge.  Turns out I like very simple "building block" pieces (ie furniture, dishes) so that they can go with anything else I decide to bring home when my fancies change.  It's much easier to change out dishtowels on a whim than a couch.  No crazy dishes with spots and flowers for me.  I feel that anything with too-specific a color palette or design will limit my other decor options.

But sometimes I can get carried away with simplicity; if I didn't have FH to remind me to have variety, I'd get everything in neutrals and forget I can use patterns and details.  Case in point: wedding announcements.  If I designed them all by myself, they'd be white cards with black Calibri text.  Maybe a plain, single-color line border.  Thankfully, I had FH to override my boring-ness and infuse a little personality into the project.  Don't get too excited, they're still pretty simple.  But I like them, and they fit us.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Accessorizing

My image needed refreshing, so I decided to explore some new accessories. Tell me what you think, and be honest please.

I heard rings are really in this season, so decided to try one of those first.

Goes well with my skintone, dontcha think?

It was ok, but didn't seem to be right all by itself.  I decided to get a dress to go with it.

Like I'm really going to show you what it looks like?

Of course, the whole ensemble wouldn't be complete without this key (and I must admit, my favorite) accessory:

ac·ces·so·ry (n); see also accomplice, partner, co-conspirator

We're going to throw a party soon to show it all off because that's half the fun of a new outfit, right?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An aside

I haven't written in a while because frankly, I didn't feel like it.  The balance of March was crazy in a mostly-awful way, and I don't really want to talk about it.

I try to keep things light on here and I recognize I rarely discuss deeply personal or emotional things.  Once in a while I write about things I find profound, but those reveal more about what and how I think than what I feel or do.  It's just not my style to talk about personal things in a public venue.  Or even a not-so-public venue.  I'm more of a "if I think it's your business I'll volunteer the information one-on-one" kind of person.  This may seem surprising since I come off as a friendly and outgoing person, but if you pay attention I am not revealing a whole lot even when I'm talking a lot.  Content is not proportional to volume.

Besides not sharing things because I don't think they're everyone's business, I partly feel I don't want to come off as trying to receive validation for my situation by placing it in a public forum.  And strong (especially emotional) reactions-- positive or negative-- from people not involved in a given situation makes me uncomfortable.  I don't know why.  It just does.  Also, when too many get involved in what's going on, it's harder to me to be self-aware that I'm doing what I feel is right vs. what is expected/desired by everyone else.  I gain strength of resolve through limiting spectators.

I'm also careful because this is a public blog and I don't know what weirdos could be reading it.  I usually keep details or names purposefully vague for that reason.  If you're a creepy stalker, I don't want to feed you information.  If you're a random reader, it doesn't matter who the people are since you don't know them anyway.  If you do know me, chances are you know the details via some other communication if they're relevant to you.

There's always that argument that "people just care about you so it's OK to let them know what's going on".  But if people really care about me, my reasoning is that they will respect the way I handle myself and won't ask me to go about sharing things I'm not comfortable sharing with everyone.  Don't worry that I'm, like, covering up for illegal acts or something.  I'm not even keeping secrets.  I'm just private and judicious in my dissemination of information.  What I'm not telling is just as often happy things as stressful.

One thing you may appreciate as a result of this information is once you understand that if I do tell you something that seems personal and significant, it's because I choose for you to know it, and I must think it's important for you to know.  So please spread use the information respectfully. I recognize that by default extension, I'm also choosing your circle of acquaintance to know because word will inevitably spread.  If I wanted to keep something on the DL, I just wouldn't tell.

Ok, that's all I wanted to say.  This isn't a response to any one situation in particular, but conclusions drawn from a lot personal reflection spurred by my experiences over the last five weeks.

By the way, I foresee a bit more activity on this ol' blog in the future, because I decided there are a couple of things I do want to talk about.  Stay tuned.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Me.

I love birthdays.  I say that every year.  Because it's true.  True to form, this post will involve the ways I celebrated through the food I ate. 

Day-of he made me breakfast of French toast and bacon and even used raisin bread for me especially and regular white bread for himself since he doesn't like raisins.  Which is ok by me because I don't have to feel bad about not sharing the chocolate covered raisins he gave me. 

I spent most of the day just lounging about relaxing, but I did use my new birthday yoga mat, and we took a jaunt to Target to look at things I did not spend my birthday gift card from Mom on.  After he left for work for the rest of the night I tried to watch my favorite movie before I promptly fell asleep until my roommate came home from work.  After finding 25 ballons from her drifting in my bedroom, she took me out to dinner and a movie at a theater that serves food during the movie.  We gorged on junk food and Red Velvet cake while watching The Vow (which was refreshingly not as saccharine as other Nicolas Sparks films).

The next day my brother and his wife hosted a nice dinner and cake for me and a few friends to celebrate my birthday.  I like to do the cake thing with family.  We wound up the evening with a game of Ticket to Ride.

I had a handful of birthday coupons for free food/buy 1 get 1 free food at various restaurants around the area, so on the day they expired a few friends helped me share unnecessarily amounts of shakes and ice cream on a frigid night.

Here's the only thing I took a picture of:
Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back by popular demand

I actually wrote up this post weeks ago, but work has been so busy the last few weeks I didn't have time on my lunch break to pick out and upload photos.  Things are slowed back to normal now, so no more excuses.

Christmas and New Year's were nice, though sandwiched with madness.  A water main broke in an office building in our work complex and flooded the basement level floor to ceiling and part of the garage with a million gallons (literally) of water December 23.  Our office didn't suffer any damage but power was out in the whole complex.  It took some ingenuity and merciful people to do my job that day since I couldn't use my work computer or phone.

But then I got to leave it behind temporarily to fly to the Inland Northwest and spend Christmas and the New Year at my parent's home.  Brought a Christmas surprise with me too.  Nobody knew about it till we got there, but apparently my parents were the only ones actually shocked.  I was still quite please with myself, keeping it all a secret.

The week home was mostly enjoyable as we visited some of my good friends and did lots of family stuff.  I say "mostly" because nearly everyone took turns suffering from a brief yet violent viral plague.  I will spare the details.  Or perhaps you know the details, having already become acquainted with the little bug.

Work has been very busy so far this month dealing with the aftermath of the flood and changes we're making at other locations in addition to my usual workload.  I had some flashbacks to last July and August's work insanity, but I'm happy to report everything parking is back under control and I'm officially caught up with all my work.

Birthday shout out to my dad.  His birthday was yesterday but he's on a Mexican cruise with my mom celebrating their wedding anniversary, so I didn't get to talk to him day-of and he probably didn't see my card before he went out of town.  For the record, I remembered.

And birthday countdown for me!  10 days!
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