Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Faves -- Happy Halloween!

How awesome is it to all of us bloggers that Halloween happened to fall on a Friday!?  Hello themed post!  You'll find lots of Halloween strewn about this post...Happy Halloween to all of you lovely ladies (and men??) out there in blogland, hope everyone is feeling frightening and festive!  Linking up with Amanda!

Favorite Moment:
If you noticed that I was MIA this week it’s because we are so busy right now with the house and life in general.  Joe is busting his ass to get the siding up and it’s looking amazing!  I’ve been painting my life away on windows and trim and running errands practically every day after work including a hair much needed hair appointment on Thursday.  Life, please slow down!

 Halloween Plans:
I’m kinda bummed and out of the Halloween spirit this year since I didn’t have my own house to decorate.  I decided not to carve a pumpkin & I probably won’t be passing out candy.  I also realized I’ll probably never pass out candy again once we live at the new house since we only have 1 neighbor, kind of sad.  We will have to drive our kids into some town so that they can trick-or-treat.  But tonight I'm planning to watch Hocus Pocus before we go to a local bar to watch a couple bands play.  I’m excited to be wearing my “I put a spell on you” sweatshirt from Jessica & SaSeaDecor

FET Progress:
Monday is my next ultrasound to check my lining and make sure the Lupron is doing its job.  Weird side note, I’ve got a mouth full of canker sores and I ended up with a cold sore, luckily I took my anti-viral in time to kick it before it got too bad.  I’m prone to both of these things but not all at once like that, maybe a nasty side effect of the hormones?

Favorite Pin:
how cool are these candied apples?! whose having a Halloween party I can make these for?

Favorite Funnies:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Winter Essentials

Being a northerner in the world of blogging I find to be somewhat unique.  The majority of my fellow bloggers are actually southerners, many of which I see are still enjoying temps in the 80’s and still wearing shorts and tanks.  Unfortunately, here in Illinois that is not the case.  We had our first frost this past weekend and sweater weather is undoubtedly here to stay.  If you’re not aware, last winter we had record-breaking snow fall and temps.  According to NOAA, 2013-2014 winter was among the coldest on record in the Midwest.  Rockford Illinois (about 60 miles north of where I live) was the 3rd coldest city on record last winter!  Chicago had its 3rd snowiest winter ever recorded with over 80 inches of snow last year, their snowiest was 89 inches in the winter of ’78-’79, and the heaviest snowstorm of last winter was 11.7 inches of recorded snowfall on Jan 4-5th.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  What it boils down to is that it’s cold and snowy here and it sucks!

I thought I’d compile a list of the essentials that every northerner should have to survive these brutal winters, this winter is predicted to be worse than last!

I’m in the market for a new pair and I’m loving these.

I found these at Dick’s a few years ago, you’ve gotta keep your toes warm when its below 0 out!

Globs of lotions and lip balm

Winter=dry.  Your lips will be chapped, your face will be wind/cold burnt, and your skin will be scaly!  These are my tried and true favorites!

Your hair will be full of static every single day.  Using moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will have combat that.  Adding hairspray which is full of alcohol that makes hair even drier, is not the answer, moisture is.

 Can’t stress MOISTURE enough.  This will help with your skin too!  This Crane humidifier is a little pricier, but it works so good, well worth the money.
  All necessities.  I always try to buy texting gloves because once winter hit’s you almost never go without your gloves on.  Scarves are a must as are hats and hoods to keep in the heat!  I'm loving all 3 of these perfect winter accessories from Target!

Fabulous & Warm Coats
I 100% believe that coats should cover your ass.  When it's cold, and it gets COLD, I want as much coverage as possible.  I think a classic wool/wool blend coat and a puffer are both necessities! And a hood is a must!  I recently purchased the coat on the left & I'm loving it!

If you live in the South or somewhere warm where it doesn't snow, can I come to visit?  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Blogland!  Linking up with Amanda this week!  I am sooo happy this week is over.   I was ready for it to be over as soon as it started since we kicked off Monday with a funeral, what a way to start a week.  I am still completely heartbroken by the loss of my co-worker, I just can't get him out of my head.  He was one of my favorites and I will really miss him!  I am ready for this weekend! We have a wedding for some good friends of ours and we are ready let loose and celebrate!

On a more positive note, as the week progressed, things got better.  You might've seen Monday's post, where I was feeling pretty down, but by Tuesday after a doctor's appointment, I started feeling better.  Things are moving quickly this cycle, my transfer is only 18 days away!  I continue with Lupron, start Vivelle (estrogen) patches on Friday along with Doxycycline and pre-natal which I've been taking.  My next ultrasound is the 3rd with transfer set for the 11th.  They also did blood work to check my thyroid and all checks out normal for that!

And I can't believe how close we are to the holidays!  I ordered a Christmas wreath from a co-worker this week that I'm planning to hang on m door at the new house even though we won't be living there!

Favorite Pin:

Favorite Recipe:
I made this super easy beef broccoli & it went over well.  I omitted the sauce because I don't know what "oyster sauce" is but I hate the sound of it so I bought an Asian spice blend at the grocery store and made my own.  

House Update:
Joe has been busting his ass to get the siding on going out there each and every night after work and working until it gets dark which doesn't give him much time these days as winter is approaching fast.  I got the propane all lined up to be trenched & installed (exciting, I know!) in the next couple of weeks so as soon as that is done we will have heat!  Hooray!  I'm hoping for electricity by the end of the month as well!

One full side completely done! Lots more to go!

Love how these bump outs are looking!

 Favorite Funnies:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Struggling with Uncertainty

I'm not sure what it is about this cycle, but I still just can't get myself into the mindset that I want to be in.  Did I make the right decision to try again so quickly?  I'm not sure.  I have always really hated uncertainty.  I hate not knowing, hell, I hate surprises, so this is tough for me.  Infertility is filled with uncertainty, and I think I've gotten better about accepting that, but not fully. 

When I got home Saturday night I opened up a drawer in the bathroom and saw that I had a pregnancy test still in the box.  It was the second one from a package of two and unfortunately, last cycle, I only needed to use one to tell me that it was negative.  I found myself feeling nervous and really uneasy thinking about that unused test.  Will I test again this cycle?  Well, with an unopened HPT at my disposal, probably.  The other option is to wait for beta as I always had before.  The thought of either option completely scares me.  Why am I putting myself through this?  Why am I risking possibly another failed cycle?  When I think about POAS or waiting for beta, I feel as though I don't want to pick either of those options because I don't want to go through another heartbreak.  I don't want to get the news, have to leave work, have to tell everyone it failed again, and spend the day in bed crying.  It's such a vicious cycle and I want out of.  

I know that this sounds really unlike me, but I can't deny my feelings.  I'm kind of at a loss for words at this point too.  I know I'm probably thinking too far into the future.  Why am I getting upset over something that hasn't even happened yet?  Why am I already planning on what we will do after this cycle fails?  I've touched on this a bit before and, unfortunately, it still seems to be ringing true, and that's that eventually, the negative becomes the expected.  It's the uncertainty of what will happen, and it's the knowing of what's happened in the past that combine into a deadly concoction of negativity and doubt.  What's the antidote for such poisonous thoughts?  I'm not sure.  I thought that it was to train my brain to think differently, but so far that isn't working.  With loads of pregnancy announcements the last few days, (no offense to anyone who's gotten their blessing, I'm overjoyed for you all!!) and a one year anniversary of being treated by my RE and of my lap surgery, plus hormone overload, I think I might just be a little extra sensitive these days.  

So far the injections and the entire cycle has gone OK, all feelings considered.  I've been really focused on the house since we've had a lot going on there.  This last week at work a co-worker that I was close to passed away unexpectedly and we've been trying to wrap our heads around his untimely death.  Being preoccupied is helping, I just wish the circumstances were better.  The days til the next transfer are moving along quickly.  We're already more than halfway through October and I wish life would just slow down a bit.  On Tuesday I have a baseline ultrasound to check my lining already.  I can't believe it's already time for that.  I started up at Curves again last week hoping that some endorphins will help lift my spirits.  Whether I'm mentally ready or not, this next cycle is blowing by and transfer day will be here before we know it.  Here's to hoping for 11/11 to be my lucky day!

here's my bit of humor for today....

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thoughts on Pregnancy Annoucements

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is 100% my experience and 100% my opinion.  This is an extremely sensitive subject for those of us who are TTC and we all handle these things in our own ways and none of those ways are wrong, no matter if someone disagrees with you.  It can be one of the toughest obstacles for some and I don't want anyone passing judgement about how myself, or anyone else deals with this subject. Please be respectful!

I've been asked this question a few times via email so I thought that I would share a little bit about this.  This is a sensitive subject for many of us who are TTC and I have a story of my own that I've never shared publicly about my reaction to a friend’s pregnancy announcement. I've wanted to share this story for a long time, and I feel like now is the time to do it, so here goes...

A couple of years ago after about a year and a half of actively trying to TTC before being treated by our RE, I had my first experience with a friends pregnancy.  We were all out together at a local watering hole, it wasn't being announced like "everyone pay attention, we have a surprise", it was kind of just being casually said in small groups.  Before I was "officially" told, my very close friend came up to me and told me what was happening as to kind of prepare me.  Our situation was public knowledge by then, I had already started the blog and everyone knew what was going on with us.  I feel as though, her pulling me aside to tell me, she was just trying to be the great friend that she is and protect my feelings which I appreciate.  At this point in time I had not yet dealt with a pregnancy announcement while TTC.  

To make a long story short, after my friend had whispered to me what I was about to hear out loud, I went into the bathroom to try and collect myself.  Being at a bar and going out to dinner before, I had a few glasses of wine in me and was feeling extra sensitive since AF was on her way and we were dealing with another failed attempt.  These are in no way excuses for my behavior; they were just the catalysts of my reaction.  I came out of the bathroom, sat down at my bar stool, and started sobbing trying to hide myself from my friend who was about to tell a few of us that she was pregnant.  I quickly grabbed my things and headed out the door to try to prevent her from seeing me and completely disregarding her happy news.  Joe came out and decided to take me home for the night.

The next day I apologized via text.  I wasn't sure that she had even seen me crying, but we had a conversation about it and I thought things were smoothed over.  It was a pitiful apology on my part, but I just didn't know how to even deal with something like this.  Months had gone by and I was researching more and more about infertility and started thinking that I needed to get serious about talking to my doctor.  It was August and I hadn't spoken to this friend since the incident back in February.  Without going into detail about it, I learned that she was still upset with me and read some things on my blog that upset her even more, nothing that I had said about her, just things that I had said about what I was sick of hearing people say to me about trying to get pregnant.  I told her that I felt that we needed to talk in person and we did.  Sitting down and talking we smoothed things over the best that we could. I felt as though she tried to understand my situation the best she could and I tried my best to be sincerely apologetic and explain to her what I was feeling.  I am happy to say that she has been supportive of us on this journey we have been on and I'm very thankful for that!

This experience single handedly helped me learn how not to and how to react to other people’s pregnancies.  First I had to accept that pregnancy announcements at my age are inevitable and there is no possible way to avoid them, even by deleting Facebook or Instagram, I would still encounter pregnant women.  Even though my reaction to her news had nothing to do with her, and it was all about my anger and frustration at our situation, it still hurt her feelings that I was crying (in a bad way) about her news.  I had to remember that if I was going to be upset about a pregnancy announcement, then I needed to do it somewhere else, not right in front of the person who is pregnant.  I started becoming more active in the TTC community where I would see pregnancy announcements of people who were struggling with TTC just like we were and I found myself actually happy for these people who were fighting for their dream as hard as we were. I noticed how easy it was to be happy for someone that had really had to work as hard, if not harder than us to get pregnant.  I try to look at it as a success story, inspiration, something that could one day happen for me because it happened for them!  Eventually, being happy for anyone who got pregnant was no longer an issue.  It’s feeling sincere happiness that took a long time and a hard lesson to really feel.

I’m not going to lie, my heart still sinks sometimes when I see a BFP, but I always remind myself that it should give me hope for my own future!  That it is possible, and that it's a process and something that I will continue to learn and grow from every day.  The other thing to remember, whether you’re infertile or not, is that all humans react and see things differently and that is something else that we need to respect.  I’m sure there are TTC sisters out there who have no issues with being happy for others pregnancies, but I know there are TTC sisters out there who really have a hard time with it, with baby showers, with friends and family who are pregnant, with being around babies and kids in general and there is nothing wrong with that.  It’s our right as humans to deal with life in different ways.  I just hope that I can give some insight to those who are still struggling with this issue.  You are not alone in your feelings towards this subject, it's one of the hardest challenges to overcome, but I think it's important to try to get ourselves to a place of genuine peace and happiness for others who are pregnant.  

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  All that we have on the books is brunch Sunday and lots of working on the house!  I promised Joe I would spend lots of time painting the windows since I've really been slacking, wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

House Update!

There’s not a ton to report on the house, but I figured I haven’t said much about it lately and thought I would dedicate an entire post to the progress so far for those of you who are interested. The best place to follow along for updates is Instagram.

Our builder is almost officially done with his part. The house is all closed in now since Joe installed the garage doors and the builder put the last of the exterior doors on! All he has left to do is put some holes in the roof for us for some vents and for the chimney and he will be complete! That means it’s up to Joe from here on out to get the bulk of the work done. The plumbing and the HVAC will be the only things that he won’t be doing himself.

Our siding came in last Thursday and I’m sooo in love with it! Feeling very confident in my color choices! It’s going to look amazing with the shingles that we chose. I am so ready to see that awful TYVEK finally be covered up and see some real color on the house. We decided on LP SmartSide which is a wood siding. It’s a better quality than vinyl, so it’s pricier, but these are the features of the house that we hope to never have to change so it’s something that we were willing to spend a little more money on. Carpet can easily be changed, siding, not so much!

Joe is about done with all of the wiring which means that we will be able to have our inspection done on all the “rough in” meaning the electrical and plumbing. Once that’s all inspected and passed (fingers crossed!), and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) finishes heating up the transformer we will be able to put a meter in and finally have electricity! We will also be getting ready for our propane tank to be installed so we will have heat too! Then I’ll never see Joe! He actually told me this past weekend that now that our heat works in the camper he’s going to set it up at the house and just stay in it if he ends up working late on the house! I really appreciate his dedication. He has always been a very hard worker and earns and honest to God living by working his ass off, he is the hardest working man I know so it’s no surprise that he has been the same way with the house!

You may have read that we got our appliances and some furniture ordered too! We got a great deal at a locally owned store that was offering 0% interest for 4 years so we took advantage of the deal. I have been OBSESSED with the GE Slate appliances ever since my MIL got a stove and microwave in that finish a couple of years ago. I’m happy to say I’m (soon to be) a proud owner of my own set! Also, we will finally have a matching GE front load washer and dryer set! Our last set was mismatched and it drove me nuts!
LOVE these appliances!
I got the GE RightHeight washer & dryer in white, the pedestal is built in.

After the exterior is finished (all siding up) Joe will start hanging and taping drywall so we should see lots more progress! Much like infertility, building a house has taught me a lot about patience and that things won’t be done at the snap of my fingers, quality takes time, but I find myself constantly day dreaming about cooking in my new kitchen, sipping wine in front of the fire on my new couch in the living room, and having to decide if I want back yard or front yard views while I drink my coffee in the mornings! I know that move in day will be here before we know it (we don’t have a set date), and I am so ready to live out the rest of my life in our dream house. I hope that we can fill it with babies and make lots of memories together!

 living room with 12' french sliding doors
 covered porch off the back of the house
back of the house

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Favorites

Can I just say TGIF! What a week this was, even though I had nothing on my calendar except for dinner plans last night with my mom and cousins, I am exhausted from this week and welcoming the weekend with open arms!  

I'm going to do things a little backwards this week and start with what I'm most looking forward to. This weekend is family camp out on Joe's mom's side of the family and it's something that we do every year Columbus Day weekend.  Joe and I have been going every year now since we started dating back in 2008.  We did have to miss last year, but this year we had nothing else planned and are looking forward to spending the entire weekend there.  I did all of my grocery shopping Wednesday and I started prepping the taco dip and pasta salad, pulling out hats and gloves for the cold nights, and gearing up for mimosas and beer all weekend.  This is a huge family event and it's always so fun and relaxing, really can't wait!

Favorite Moment:
One of my very best blogger, TTC, IVF sisters had her baby girl this week!  Congrats to Beth @ Beth & Harrison Slatery on the birth of their daughter Carter!  I'll let her debut her daughters picture when she's ready, but here is a beautiful photo of mom & dad before baby girls arrival!

Favorite Recipe:
Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie from Betty Crocker.  I love this recipe, it's seriously so easy and fast and simple.  Hamburger meat, shredded cheese, 2 eggs, milk, and Bisquick! And the guys love it!

Favorite Pin:
absolutely love this Free People jacket, do not love the price... boo!

Favorite Quote:
My girl Beth sent me this quote this week and it's just perfect!

Fertility Update:
Sunday is 30 days til FET #2!!  I start Lupron injections on Tuesday and stop BCP on Thursday!  We're getting closer by the minute and we are so busy with life right now it hasn't been the first thing on my mind which I think is OK and might actually be for the best. 

Favorite Funnies:

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