Tuesday, September 7, 2010

walk this way

Today, in an effort to work on getting healthier before we start our treatments, I took a little walk.

I was worried about losing motivation once I got home and sat down, so after a few minutes of chatting with Dee I headed out the door, still in my work clothes!

It was beautiful out today; my weather app. said it was 90 but it certainly didn't feel that hot.  There was a nice breeze and the sky was a beautiful blue.

What really helped pass the time was listening to my iPod and I actually enjoyed looking for new things to come back later and take pictures of.

The only bad part of my time was that my earbuds kept falling out!  I could never wear the ones that came with my iPod Touch because they just wouldn't fit in my ears.  So, we bought these cute PINK ones.  Guess what...smallest size cover and they are STILL too big!  {hmmph}  Of all the parts of my body that could be small, I get blessed with small EAR HOLES!  Maybe that's a good reason to give Dee when he says I don't listen!  :-)

So, day one of "Walk around the Block" down and tomorrow is a new day!  Wish me luck!!!  Hopefully I'll stay motivated enough to walk this way everyday!

Perhaps you would like to leave a comment in that lonely little section down there and tell me what motivates you!!!  I'd love to hear your tips!

Monday, September 6, 2010

let go

Now, let me start out by saying that there is a {strong} possibility that this post will be winding, meander a bit, probably get off track and will definitely be emotional, but please bear with me...that's just the kind of girl I am.

Some of you have been following our {in}fertility journey closely but others of you may be new to our story, so let me recap just a little bit...

In the summer of 2004 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome {PCOS}, which you can learn more about here and find support for here.  This is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and a leading cause of infertility in women.  Studies also show that it is genetic; my mother and sister both have it.  In addition, my {step}sister Cora has been diagnosed with it, but more on that later!

November 2008: Dee and I had been trying for almost a year to have a baby without success.  My OB/GYN had suggested that summer that we talk to a Reproductive Endocrinologist {RE} and scheduled an appointment for us.  After meeting with the RE in November I was scheduled to take Provera {to bring on my cycle}and then Clomid {to increase my chances of ovulating}.  Just an aside, Clomid is the same medicine that Kate {of John and Kate Plus 8 fame} took, so potentially powerful stuff!

We decided to wait until after our holiday trip home to NY before we started our treatments.  Unfortunately, this cycle was a bust for us due to previous gall bladder issues I had which were dormant for about a year.  It seems the stress of the treatments or perhaps the Clomid aggravated the issues.

From the time that we stopped our treatments till now I have had my gall bladder out {May 2009} and we have struggled with continued increases in insurance {which doesn't cover ANY fertility treatments regardless} and many of the same financial issues that other families are facing now.  We have looked into the possibility of adoption as well as fostering during this time too.

So, that takes us up to this past Friday {September 3}...

I celebrated my 34th birthday at the end of August and feel like my time and chances are running out.  Dee and I go back and forth about all of this:  It's a struggle because I know that things are very tight and that a child can be expensive, but I tell him all the time that I don't want to get to the end of my life and regret that I never got to be a mom.  I try to keep one foot in his realistic world and the other in mine.

Sometimes I get so fixated on bringing a child with Dee's beautiful eyes, curly hair and awesome computer skills combined with my Hobbit feet, musical prowess and love of reading into God's great universe that I can't take one more conversation about how unrealistic it might be right now...

I know that this is a struggle for Dee too; I know that even in his straight forward thinking mind, filled with talk of bills and thoughts of affording diapers, food and clothes for a baby that he wants to be a Daddy again.

Where were we?  Oh yes, this past Friday...

So it was back to our wonderful RE {Dr. Kenneth Steingold, who you can find out more about here.  He practices at The Fertility Institute of Virginia and I highly recommend their services if you are in the Richmond area}.

After a long conversation with him {because you know I'm a talker} here is our plan:

1.} I will increase my Metformin to three times a day.
2.} Dee will have some testing done to make sure his diabetes hasn't caused any issues.
3.} I'll take the Provera again for 10 days to bring on my cycle.
4.} The next step is the Clomid which was VERY difficult to endure last time {some of the classic side effects which I had during our first cycle included: hot flashes, mood swings and nausea...oh my!}.
5.  In the event that we do not get pregnant on this cycle then I will have to have blood work done to see if     the Clomid is doing it's job and causing me to ovulate.

So, there it is in a nutshell...granted, a very large one!  

Right now I'm trying to stay as positive as possible...I try to count my blessings and be grateful for my family and friends as well as my career and the great things in my life, but it's hard...

I feel like this a lot:

Every time I watch that video I feel a gut reaction...I could have written that song, word for word.  

I know that God has a plan for us but I pray everyday that His plan brings us a child, no matter how that happens, whether it be ours biologically or by the grace of adoption.  These are times that test my faith and I hope that I can move beyond my fear, sadness, guilt and anger to a place where I can let go and let God...

When I watched this video at Women of Faith 2009 and it reached 1:40 I remember all the air rushing out of me and once I recovered, just sobbing...that word, that women...that's me.  I pray every day that God will grant us a miracle whether by bringing a baby into our lives or healing my heart so that I can move on...so that I can truly believe that word does not define me...so I can see that I was made to fill a purpose that only I can...so I can see God's amazing plan He had for us all along.

Should you have any extra prayers, positive thoughts or baby dust you'd like to send our way, it would be very much appreciated.  I hope you'll continue to follow our journey as we make our way through whatever lies ahead...thank you for being there for us and being our biggest supporters.  No matter what happens, God has blessed us with the miracle of you...

Oh, and by the way:

This amazing little man, otherwise known as Nate the Great...

...he belongs to my sister Cora {Remember her from before?}...he is one of God's most beautiful miracles...and he is proof that PCOS doesn't always win!  So take THAT PCOS!!!  {Karate Chop}

first of autumn

Regardless of the date on the calendar, it is certainly beginning to look and feel a little more like Fall around here and that's good enough for me!  I spent part of today putting out my decorations and taking pictures of some of my favorites!

My Old Virginia Candle topper on a Cinnabon candle...yummy!
Sunflower plugin from B&BW; it was a sweet birthday present from my even sweeter friend Riki!
I've had this Boyd's Bear resin for a long time.  Love the combination of sunflower and ladybug!
Little rag doll from my Daddy...<3
Various Autumn-ish Yankee tarts in my Longaberger basket; I have Frosted Pumpkin going right now!
My super exciting Vera purchase in Puccini...I got it on clearance for a great price!!!

My FAVORITE wreath!
My Fall and Halloween pins!
I already have quilts on the bed...well, on my side at least!  The red/pink one my mother made me many years ago and the other my Aunt Linda made me for my high school graduation.                                                   It's so special to fall asleep wrapped in all that love.
Though the outside world is slow to get on my Autumn enthusiasm train there are little signs that the seasons really are changing; of course, being from Upstate NY I know that there is nothing more beautiful than the Adirondacks in the Fall, but I digress...

I can't wait until the signs are everywhere while Mother Nature heralds in my favorite time of year!  Do you love Fall as much as I do?  If so, what is your favorite way to welcome in this glorious season?  Please share in the comments section if you feel so inclined!

Even if Fall isn't your favorite, I hope that you will enjoy a little Autumn related Enya, because really, doesn't she go great with any season?  

Happy Fall Ya'll...even if it's just as my house!  :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

wordless wednesday: chocolate


frugal meal friday: hot n cold

It has certainly been cold here!  Remember all that snow we got?  Well, now on top of that we've added rain, sleet, more snow and a very strong wind!  This chick does NOT like to be cold!

So, what's my solution for fighting off winter's chill?  Make soup of course!!!

I'm a soup lover, especially chowders (Do they qualify as soup or are they a whole other category?  Regardless, I love them!).  Soup is great because it's generally cheap and there is always lots left over, especially with only two of us.  Another great way to save money is to designate one or two nights a week as meatless meals.  The hubby isn't so keen on the idea, but it an easy way to save!

This recipe covers a lot of those bases!

 You can find the original recipe here, but I've modified it a bit; below you can find the recipe I use.

*Spinach Tortellini Soup*

You will need:
8 cups of chicken broth
2 (9-ounce) bags of frozen cheese tortellini 
1 large bag of frozen, chopped spinach (I always get the biggest bag I can since this is the cheapest ingredient and helps stretch the recipe)
Diced garlic to taste (Usually I add about 2 tablespoons, but I like garlic!)

Combine all ingredients except the tortellini in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to simmer and then add pasta.  Once pasta is desired tenderness remove the pot and serve immediately.  

How easy is that???  We usually have enough for dinner and several lunches; I think the flavor is better with the leftovers.

I hope you enjoy this yummy meal and it helps keep you nice and warm.  If you try it and like it or make changes to the recipe please share in the comments section and tell us all about it!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ten for Tuesday: Say Hey (I Love You)

I know I'm a little behind with my posting which is surprising considering all the snow days we've had!  So, we're just going to pretend that today is Tuesday and get some updating done!

The purpose of Ten for Tuesday is to showcase ten things that I am loving right now...take that Oprah!

1~Our new kitty:
Kaia is settling in VERY well and of all our kitties she is the one that likes to cuddle the most.  Her sisters are taking some time to get used to her, but she walks around like she's been here forever! 

2~Soule Mama's blog: I am loving the beautiful photographs of her daily life, her kiddos and her crafty projects.  I think her heartfelt and honest way of writing draws me in and makes me feel as though I've known her for years.  On our last trip to Barnes and Noble I found her book and showed it to Dee; I was so excited to find it, as if it was authored by someone I talked with on a daily basis!

3~The beautiful snow and the resulting snow days:
By the time it was done last week we had about 10 inches.  Then we added more snow, sleet and ice on top of that yesterday and today.  At this point we haven't been back to school  except for a teacher workday on Thursday!

4~Starbucks Frappuccino: Vanilla of course!

A big "Thank You" to be my sweet Husbando who ran to the store and delivered this to me during car rider duty!  I had only gotten a few hours of sleep the previous night and it really helped me get through the day.

5 and 6~ These great tools that allowed me to really tailor my blog and do some fun updates: Mosaic Maker which I used to make my header and Pimp-My-Profile which I used to do a few other backgrounds.  Though I decided not to use those, I still learned a lot about coding from here!

7~This interview with Lady Gaga: 
I can't tell you how many nights I've lost sleep because I can't get her songs out of my head!  Admittedly I've always found her odd but I know that is part of her performance art.  Watching this interview really changed my opinion of her.  I commend her insight at such a young age and wish that more people thought like her.  And how about Barbara Walters???  What a phenomenal woman!  Thank you to my friend Angie for sharing this with video with me!

8~The True Blood Series: Dee and I started watching this through our Netflix subscription.  I think it's safe to say that we are both hooked!  I'm ready for the next disc to get here just as soon as I've put the last one in the mail!  Of course, pretty much anything with vampires is enough to suck (haha) me in!  Can't wait for the next season to come out on DVD; May is a long time away!

9~Sittin' in a Tree: This new pattern by Vera Bradley is beautiful!  I love the subtle colors and of course anything with brown is great by me!

10~Say Hey (I Love You): 
It seems like everywhere I go the more I see the less I know, but I know one thing...I love you.

What are you loving right now?  I hope you'll take a moment to share what's making your list this week!

Monday, February 1, 2010

If Everyone Cared

Back at the beginning of January I joined Hip Mountain Mama's challenge to make One Small Change each month from January to April 22 (Earth Day). My change for the beginning of 2010 was to use only reusable grocery bags. You can read my post about it here.

I think it was a pretty easy choice for the first month since we certainly have plenty of bags around the house that we've used off and on but not really consistently. The only real hurdle seems to be the mean/confused looks I get sometimes when I put them up on the counter. Oh well! Maybe it will be a reminder to others to try this option instead of choosing to add to the billions of plastic bags that have been used this year.

Here are the bags we used during our last foray to Dee's least favorite place on the planet:

This is my favorite, simply because it's pink and Barb got it for me when I was visiting this summer!

Honestly, a few plastic bags did sneak their way in to the house, but it was still such a minimal amount compared to our usual; maybe about 10 in all. Of course, they always get repurposed anyway so that helps some.

So now, on to February's challenge! This month I will not drink out of anything that can be thrown away, like styrofoam cups at work for sodas or paper cups for my coffee. This will be a bit of a challenge because plastic bottles have a way of sneaking up on you and if we do stop for an occasional fast food meal I'm not sure how to handle drinking there. Regardless I will do my very best to institute this new rule as well as continue with the new habit from last month. Lots of luck to anyone who is making One Small Change with me this month!

And as we lie beneath the stars we realize how small we are...

I hope you'll take a moment to share in the comments section any small changes that you are undertaking to help make this world a better place!