These past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for us. The kids have been home for Christmas break and I have enjoyed their company. We had a wonderful Christmas filled with family and love. Then the kids and I had a camp out in the living room on an air mattress for New Years. They fell asleep 10 or 15 minutes before midnight leaving me to ring in the New Year all by myself. And then I went to bed about 15 after midnight. I have a good feeling about this year and I am going to do all that I can to make sure that it's different than the years past. Last year, for Christmas Tim got me a ring. It was gorgeous, but needed to be sized and it came back looking funky. Soooo, the jeweler sized another one for me and it came back equally ugly. I'm all about 2nd chances, but after the 2nd ring came back in awful condition, I decided to not go with the ring after all. So this year, I made sure my present from Tim was a little more... ummmm, how you say... permanent. I got a tattoo on my left forearm. I already had stars placed up close to the bend of my arm and now in addition to my stars I have a gorgeous pink and purple swallow. It's very girly and beautiful. It is definitely me. But wait... we still aren't done... Monday, I go back to get a blue and green swallow with dog tags in it's beak on my upper arm, along with backgrounds for both birds and another star. Then I will have filigree and strands of pearls connecting the 2 birds with the stars in the middle (pictures will come when it is finished). I'm excited and scared at the same time. This tattoo will be a total of 6-7 hours of work. And though I have a high tolerance for pain, I'm a little surprised at myself that I'm voluntarily putting myself through pain. Of course it won't stop there because my end goal is to have a sleeve and I still have the elbow side of my arm to do. I asked my phlebotomist about the tattoos to make sure they wouldn't hinder her from taking blood and when she told me it wouldn't, she advised that I get whatever work done quickly. She said if I ever had to have a fistula put in, that I wouldn't be able to finish what I started. I'm at least 10 years away from needing dialysis again (hopefully I won't ever need dialysis again) but hey, we aren't guaranteed anything in life so I figured I would go ahead and do what I wanted as far as tattoos are concerned now. This is something I have always wanted and I'm out of my 20's and more sure of what I want for the rest of my life. This might be to my advantage... my kids saw how sore I was before it healed and they don't want one (yet) because "they use needles. And I don't like needles... needles hurt mama". They are 4 and 5 and who knows how they will feel when they are older, but at this moment I'm proud they aren't giving into "parent" pressure. Hopefully, when they get older, they won't give into peer pressure. One can hope right?