Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Week Down...

only fifty-six left to go! ;)

As promised, I'm giving an update on my Invisalign experience thus far. As I stated in my initial post, the adjustment was greater than I anticipated. However, I have adapted quite well, if I do say so myself.

So here are some of the "adjustments":
  • The soreness I felt on my teeth completely faded by Saturday afternoon
  • Taking my aligners in and out has become increasingly easier (but has not become any less of a nuisance)
  • I now have to carry a cup with me so I can place my aligners in warm water while they're out of my mouth. Convenient, right?! (Hopefully you caught my sarcasm)
I do have some good news, though...

Meet my aligners' new best friends!
On top is Retainer Brite, the daily aligner cleaner to keep them clear, germ free and fresh. Below that is Sonic Brite, a deep cleaning machine to help if any stains or cloudiness occurs. I'm so excited I found these products because I was worried my trays might begin to look old, dingy and be embarrassing to wear. Now I'm a little more confident I can get through this process with my dignity still intact.

I may still have a slight lisp, but I'm getting used to it (well, I'm coming to terms with it, at least). One year with a speech impediment isn't so bad...right?

Stay tuned for more updates... :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Birthday Missed

Today is my late Grandma's birthday. She was 72 when she passed away in 1996, so today she would have been 86. It's so strange for me to think that it has been (almost) 14 years since the last time I saw her. It was the morning of my cousin, Allison's, birthday (February 19th) that I last hugged her, spoke to her, felt her warmth.

What happened that day is something I'd rather not discuss at present (maybe I'll feel more inclined to think of the sadness on the anniversary of her passing). Today I would like to focus on my Grandma's life and the wonderful memories she gave me.

Enedina DeLosSantos was special; not just to me, but all who met her. She could definitely light up any room she walked into. My Grandma was always laughing, telling interesting stories, being humorous (usually without even trying) and just had a way about her that made you feel comfortable.

Anytime I was uneasy discussing a topic with anyone else, I would talk with my Grandma about it. When I needed to vent to someone about my frustrations regarding my parents, school, life, etc...I went to her. Even if she didn't see eye to eye with me, I could never be angry with her. We had something special; a bond that is indescribable.

(I don't have many photos of Grandma readily available on my computer, but I had a couple that were previously scanned):

My Grandma and I at my Confirmation Ceremony- Summer 1995
(Don't you love my Asian inspired dress and the armcuff?! I thought I was such a fashionista...)

I was 16 when Grandma passed away. I often wish she had been around a little while longer- enough to see me graduate from high school and college, to meet Chris, to see us get married- but I realize that is selfish on my part. My Grandma made it quite clear to me in the months leading to her death that she was ready to move on. Not in a morbid way, but just stating that she felt she had led a good life, she had a fun time living, and, if the time came, she was ready. It's comforting to know that she was not afraid and was, in some aspects, excited to see what was on the other side.

I am so thankful I had as many years with Grandma as I did. She taught me numerous life lessons. The message I carry with me most is to be true to myself always...and if people don't like me for who I am, tough! ;) That's just who she was; a fun, quirky spirit who was perpetually late, loved hats and other accessories, knew how to make an entrance, loved to shop and just enjoyed being herself. Grandma made a profound impact on my life and helped shape the person I am today and for that I am forever grateful.

L to R: Mom, my brother, Jason, me, my Aunt Cookie, my cousins, Alex and Allison and Grandma
(not sure the year...guessing Christmas 1991 based on my hair)

*I miss you, Grandma!*

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Christopher's mommy, Christine Castillo!

To celebrate, Chris' mom, his sister, Misty, Chris and I all met at Brio in Allen last night for her birthday dinner. The food was amazing and the company was even better. After dinner, it was off to the movies to see "Up in the Air", a film about the importance of having people in your life. I'd heard mixed reviews, but I, personally, enjoyed the film. To end the night, we went to our house to enjoy Spinkles cupcakes and let Shamrock give his Mimi birthday kisses. :)

A great night with family. We hope Chris' mom enjoyed her night as much as we did! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Going Straight

That's right, people. After several years of deliberating, I have taken the plunge to finally straighten up.

In November, I took the first steps to see whether I would be a candidate for Invisalign. For those of you who have never heard of it, Invisalign is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that orthodontists use as an alternative to traditional metal braces. They look like this-

Since I had braces when I was younger (5th and 6th grade) and still remember how uncomfortable, painful and awkward they were, I was determined to use this method to staighten my teeth instead. Lucky for me, I was informed I would be an excellent candidate for Invisalign.

So here we are. I received my first set of aligners yesterday. I'm a little surprised, to be honest, with how strange it feels to have them in. I saw the photos (like the one below), so I was hoping it would be simple- pop the aligners in and out and no one would know the difference.

Too bad it's not that easy. First, I currently have a lisp. Yup. For the first few days, until my tongue gets used to the extra stuff in my mouth, I'm going to sound a little funny. Second, I have had a little touble putting the aligners in, but mostly trying to pry them out. The first night (last night) is when I panicked because I just could not get them off! I was clawing at the top ones for about 10 solid minutes. Also, (and I was warned about this) it really does hurt to have them in. I was told the pain is only for the first two or three days when you get a new tray (which will be about every three weeks), but from this morning until I got home, I've been wanting to punch my teeth out! My fault for not taking any pain relievers with me to work. I'm definitely taking some Tylenol before I go to bed tonight.

The most difficult thing for me to wrap my head around, though, is how I'm going to have to limit my snacking now. :( It's such a pain (and a little embarrassing) to take the aligners out, so I'm going to try to remove them as little as possible. So basically I'll have them out for breakfast, lunch and dinner...and maybe the occassional mocha.

So as I embark on this year long endeavor, I'll periodically update you on my status/progress. Hopefully, this is a great, worthwhile experience with just a few inconveniences along the way. If not, be prepared for a lot of whining... ;) Wish me and my stubborn teeth luck! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jamie

A birthday shoutout to Chris' sis, Jamie! Hope you're enjoying your special day!!! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sinking to Their Level

That's right. If Nick Saban thought it necessary to run up the score for no apparent reason, then I don't feel like being a gracious loser. With less than 2 minutes left in the game and Alabama up by 10 points, there was no need for Saban to allow his team to try for another score. UT freshman backup quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, was sacked within 10 yards of Alabama's end zone, which forced a fumble that (unfortunately) Alabama recovered within the 5 yard line. At that point, the game was theirs. I know why they went for the extra score (to make it appear that the game wasn't as close as it actually was), but that doesn't excuse him for his actions. Saban has no class and neither do Alabama fans that stand by his unsportmanlike decision. Okay. I think I said what I needed to say. I'm done venting...for now. ;)

Now, I would like to say one thing positive about the game. I would like to commend my Longhorns for their great effort. The entire team definitely looked confused and upset after McCoy's injury and the first half stats tell that story. But I'm so proud of how they came out in the second half. The defense made the necessary stops in the third quarter to keep the game within reach. The offense was able to bring us within three with three minutes left. Unfortunately turnovers (because of silly mistakes) led to our demise. Overall, though, we showed great heart by coming out and giving our all out there. I love my Longhorns and can't wait to see what they do next year.

Hook 'em!!! :)

Ready for Roses...

The day has finally arrived! The Texas Longhorns' season comes down to this final, important game. It's been building since last summer. UT was expected to make it to the BCS Championship game but, with so much pressure on them to do so, I was almost sure they would drop the ball somewhere. Thankfully, they lived up to expectation and, as predicted, are in Pasadena to play the biggest game of their lives.

When I think about the scenario, it really feels like déjà vu. On January 4, 2006, UT played in what I consider to be the greatest game in college football history. The Longhorns faced the top-ranked USC Trojans and were considered the underdogs from the start. In other words, UT was the poor lamb sent to slaughter. Reggie Bush, a running back for USC was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the year while Vince Young, the UT quarterback who had an outstanding season (one of legend), was denied. The outcome of that game, my friends- Texas 41, USC 38.

Well, this year's matchup is eerily similar. The Longhorns are predicted to lose to a strong Alabama team. Colt McCoy was a Heisman Candidate, but lost to Mark Ingram, a running back for the Tide. UT is back in Pasadena, California in the Rose Bowl. It can't all just be coincidence, can it? Four year later, history could repeat itself. My hope is that it does and my Texas Longhorns come away with the crystal ball...again...

The game starts at 7 PM CST on ABC. I'll be watching, hoping and praying that UT can pull out the win.
If you're a Longhorn fan, get your horns up!!! :)

See...even Saban wants us to win. ;)

Hook 'Em!!! :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Congratulations to Christopher's flag football team for winning 2nd Place in their football league!

They made it to the championship game last night, but had a heartbreaking loss in the final. When I congratulated him, he said they were the "first place losers", so I thought the above trophy was appropriate. ;)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

So 2009 has come and gone in a blink. We had quite a busy past year! We moved into our first home, had our first full year as husband and wife, Christopher's sister, Misty, married JD in July, both of us had our class reunions (mine I actually had to help plan), we had our big trip to Ireland and the UK, plus I was singing with the Genepool Band and working on my photography (with Chris attending every show and assisting me with every shoot). Whew! We were running around all year!

As much fun as we had in '09, we're ready for a new, exciting year filled with adventures! We're hoping to take a couple of trips (not sure where yet). We can't wait for Angeleque and Hunter's wedding in Alabama on May 1st. And we're ecstatic to welcome a new addition to Christopher's side of the family! That's right, my friends, Misty and JD are expecting their first child in August!!!

2010 appears as though it's going to be one fantastic year. Let's hope it's a great one for all of you, too! :) Happy New Year!!!