Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30

Well folks, the 30th day of the Thankful 30 is upon us. I cannot believe that tomorrow is December 1st. I haven't even started my Christmas shopping yet...

::breaths deeply into a paper bag::

This blog has been a tremendous outlet for me. I must say that more often than not it is my place to vent about life and mostly infertility. It was a nice break for me to spend a little time each day thinking about just ONE thing I was thankful for. Some days I had to pick from a list of things that I was particularly happy about, and other (more frustrating) days it would take me a moment or five to come up with something. That's just the way life goes, isn't it? It has been nice to be appreciative for some of the things I do have in my life instead of just pissing and moaning about the things I don't.

It's all about perspective my dear friends.

Get on with it you say? Alright, alright...

Day 30
Today I am thankful for each and every one of you. For your encouraging comments or the occasional swift kick in the seat. For your own inspiring words. For simply being a part of this (not so) little blogging community we've found ourselves in. And mostly, for just being you. I'm so grateful we have found each other.

Take an extra moment or two and appreciate those in your life. Give away an extra hug, smile, word or two of encouragement, etc. Because who would we be if not for the people in our lives?

Happy December Eve everyone! ::hyperventilate::

Monday, November 29, 2010

Days 26/27/28/29

Sorry for the lapse 'round here. I was on a much needed un-plugged time out!

Two of the greatest words in the english language when you put them together. Seriously I cooked with shit out of that bird on T-Day. J said it was my best bird to date. I'm thinking about having him call me Chef from now on.

Day 27 - Time with my peeps.
We escaped to the mountains this weekend. There was snow, friends, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, yummy food, christmas movies, etc, etc. I love creating these memories. I have the best of friends.

Day 28 - Turkey sandwiches.
I can't use turkey sandwiches again? Too bad!! My blog. My rules.
Did I mention before how fricken delicious my turkey was? I did? Well you get to read about it again, cause DAMN folks. So moist (thats what she said) and flavorful. Yum.

BTW - The Pioneer Woman's turkey brine worked wonderfully. I modified it slightly with an old recipe of my own, but the orange peels? Just the perfect touch of citrus. YUM

Day 29 - Husbands.
I know I've given him props already this month, but ya'll, we found out there was a mouse (possibly MICE - plural) in our work truck. If it wasn't for him I would have sold the old heap and thrown in the mouse/mice for no charge. I'm not messing around. Oh. Hell. No. Reepicheep doesn't get free rent. Not 'round these parts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 24 / Day 25

Day 24 / 25

Since today is Thanksgiving I'm going to give you all a thankful smorgasbord...

I am thankful for...
  • a large and wonderful family
  • friends that can be rivaled by none other
  • a warm and safe home
  • a fresh blanket of snow outside (we NEVER have snow on turkey day)
  • a husband that loves me, despite my being a crazy person
  • two sweet pups snuggling on my floor
  • the fact that our struggles with IF have brought us closer as a couple and didn't drive us apart
  • job security
  • above all else - time with those I love during the holidays.
I hope that you all have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The end is in sight...

The end of our break that is. 2011 is a new year. Our fresh start. After two years of struggling with infertility, we needed a break. And a break we are taking. Parts of this break have been such a relief. Can I say for just a moment how wonderful it has been not to pee on anything?! To not go to the doctors office once a week? Other parts have been challenging... I'm not certain that I'm 'healing' myself as much as I wanted to during this time. We've been so busy and by nature I'm a procrastinator, so that hasn't boded so well for the self-help portion of our break. I am not the woman-on-the-edge I was in August and that is a huge relief.

In 2011 we will resume our fight.

Now for the reason I'm writing today. I read a lot of blogs. Some I pop in and out of occasionally. Others I read religiously. I'm not always the best commentator, but I promise I'm out there reading your words and laughing/crying/praying/celebrating right along with you. I love this community and and so grateful for its many connections. Today I was visiting Lindsey (and her super cute new blog layout!) and she wrote something that really struck a cord with me.

Please read her words. I cannot say it better than she did. Don't worry, go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.

Infertility is like cancer. Each month that we are not successful at conceiving we suffer a loss. I don't want to diminish the significance of cancer or the experiences of those who have suffered miscarriages or preterm loss. However, each month, the feeling of loss, both at the child we haven't conceived, the loss of control, and the uncertainty of our future is damaging. I struggle with controlling those aspects of our experience. I can juggle appointments and schedules, try to eat right, etc. But month after month of being kicked while you're down? Questioning whether or not you can keep fighting for another two years!?

I learned something on Oprah a couple weeks back (she's a smart lady!) and that was, by not owning up to something, by not talking about it, you're letting it control you. While I frequently shoot my mouth off 'round these parts, I don't talk about our struggles with infertility a lot in 'real life'. My in-laws don't even know. While that was a decision we made together and it made sense at the time (I mean, why worry them unnecessarily?), I'm not sure that policy still makes sense for us now. We're struggling through something major in our lives.

J and I both have dreamed of being parents since we were kids. Being a mom is the only thing I've ever known I wanted to be. What if that isn't in the cards for us? What if it is and we're just not there yet?

Last week, J's great aunt died. They were not terribly close and I had only met her at our wedding. She was a nice lady and at 68 she was too young. She was J's grandmothers little sister. She died of cancer and she had never told a soul that she had it. No one. Not her children, cousins, or her big sister. No one got a chance to grieve with her. To hold her hand and tell her what they meant to her.

Is that what we're doing to our friends and family? By not sharing our experience, am I letting it control me? Am I denying my family the opportunity to support me? To adjust and acclimate to the idea that we may never give our parents a grandchild? What if someone else in my life is experiencing this and not sharing with me? Could I help someone?

(as I type this I'm having an odd out of body experience. is this really my life? just being honest with where my mind is this evening...)

I don't know the right answer to those questions and I'm not certain there is one right answer. I do know that I'm ready to take some control back. I'm ready to own up to what has become a major part of our life.

As we start our new year I'm going to be talking a bit more about my experiences with 'coming out'. Writing about talking with my friends and family. It will probably be a slow process. I mean when really is the best time to tell your mother in law that her oldest son married an infertile and that wife may not be able to provide her with a grandchild? (Can you tell that's the conversation I'm looking forward to the least? Ouch.)

Join me while I come out of the Infertile Closet? There will be some interesting changes around these parts in the new year. We'll just have to wait and see how this goes.

Day 23

Day 23

Today I am thankful for a bit of time alone. I know, last week I was complaining about being lonely and now I'm grateful for a bit of time alone?

I'm a complicated woman, okay?

After a rough night last night (I've been emotional lately, nothing worth mentioning here) and another busy day at the office, I was glad to get off about an hour early to get through the snow and back to my comfy sofa. Alone with my thoughts. In the quiet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22

Day 22
Today I'm thankful for SNOW SNOW SNOW! It has been snowing on and off all day and I am now at home, snuggled up on the sofa with a full belly, watching it come down.

Even though I have a ton to do at the office tomorrow, part of me is hoping for a snow day.

The holidays have arrived!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21

Day 21

Today was a great day. First, we woke up to the slightest dusting of snow. Over our breakfast we watched as the snow picked up and enjoyed watching billions of little flakes turn our big backyard white. We go cocoa at Starbucks and headed to the theater were we finally got to see Harry Potter! It was a GREAT movie. Best one yet. I won't discuss it here because I wouldn't want to spoil it. After the movie our gang headed out to dinner and discussed the happenings. A bit of shopping on the way home now we're wrapping up our weekend by lounging on the sofa.

Today I'm grateful for 3 things - Snow. HP7.1. Quality time with J.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 19 / Day 20

Day 19
I am thankful for an evening filled with accomplishing the majority of my weekend to-do list and getting to bed early. It was nice to see my to-do list get smaller for a change. And being asleep by 10? Ahhhmazing.

Day 20
Today I am thankful for good friends and fun times. Tonight we are celebrating the birthday of a dear friend. There will be friends, a yummy dinner, drinks, and a lot of laughter. Oh, and I got her the prettiest scarf and necklace for her bday. Fun times!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18

Day 18

Today I'm thankful for wonderful things happening for a friend. She is a beautiful person inside and out and she deserves this wonderful path her life is taking.

Can it please be my turn to join her?


I had kind of a frustrating day yesterday. It was a long busy day at work, J had worked all night, so I hadn't gotten to see him for about 24 hours straight, and all I had to look forward to when I got home was getting the dog to the vet (poor thing has an ear infection), grocery shopping, making dinner, prepping my contribution to the potluck today, paying bills, etc. Basically a night of running around until bedtime.

When I got home I tried to make our game plan with J and he reminded me that he had to go back to work that night, so he was going to need at least a few hours of sleep before he ran off. Damnit! I'd forgotten. Now I was going to have to do it all solo, again, and not see him for at least another 24 hours.

During my lonely drive to the vet, I fought back tears. For so many things in my life lately, I feel alone. I don't have friends at work because anyone I would hang out with (my age, etc) works for me and I'm not cool with the whole being BFFs with my employees bit. While J has been there for so many of our appts, etc it is still something that I was going through. I have the broken bits. I have to temp, take pills, do injections, get probed, and pee on stuff. No on in my 'real' life (non-internet besties) understands what it is I'm going through. They can be empathetic, but they don't really get me.

What that means for me is that I'm feeling personally and professionally alone. And as you might imagine, that is a bit lonely after awhile. I think that is probably why something like having to run errands and our life last night bothered me to the point of tears. I just wanted some company. Someone to hold my hand while we walked through Costco or to chat with while we waited at the vet (Lacey tries, but she's not a great conversationalist).

No, I still have not been to see a therapist. Mostly because I'm nervous, but also because we've been so busy that I haven't had the opportunity to do my research and really find someone I'll like. I've not heard great things about the Employee Assistance resources, so that was a bit discouraging. Where do you even start? I don't know that I have time to try person after person until I get a good fit. But I suppose you never know until you dive in, right? I need to sort through my crap.

It's hard to keep all of these balls in the air when you feel like you're the only one juggling.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17

Day 17
My sweet pups. After a long day at work and after running around when I got home, I'm grateful to snuggle up to their sweet faces. They have such personalities, but both of them are two of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. So intuitive and mellow. We hit the puppy jackpot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 15/16

Day 15
I am thankful for a clean bill of health at the dentist. Every six months it is a relief to hear 'lookin' good!'

Day 16
Boxes on my doorstep. Particularly ones filled with SHOES. And even better when those shoes are new boots. Cognac is the perfect color to describe these soft leather beauties.

shh, don't tell my mama that my shoes were on the sofa.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 13/14

I've had a busy weekend, so today you're getting two-for-one. Both of which are a similar theme...

Day 13
Quality bonding time with my father-in-law. Yesterday J and I took his dad to the Harry Potter Exhibit in Seattle. Our tradition with my FIL is to go and see the HP movies together when they come out. We've all read the books and it is a fun day of bonding. We decided that we should see the exhibit while it is here. It was fun! We got to see outfits the actors wore, beds from their dorm, robes, the great hall (including Umbridge's education decrees hanging on the walls), props from herbology and potions, etc, and we even got to throw quaffles!

(Yes I really do understand that I'm letting my inner-dork hang out there for all of you to see. No shame 'round these parts!)

We had a great time at the exhibit and finished the day with a nice happy-hour dinner. I'm so grateful for the time with family and to have these fun traditions.

Day 14
Today it was all about quality time with The Mama. J was off saving the day by helping his brother move and I spent the afternoon chillin' with my mom. She came up to the house and we went to get pedicures.

Can I just take a moment to express how much I love a good pedicure. ::swoon::

After our toes were prettied up we snagged some lunch and headed back to the house to hang. I'm hoping (someday soonish) to update one of our guest rooms to an office, so we were deep in discussion about storage options, rearranging, etc. Growing up on a tiiiight budget, my mom and I loved to re-purpose, re-organize, or re-arrange our rooms. Fun memories.

My mom is the best and I'm so happy to have such a good relationship with her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12

Day 12

Now the words I'm about to say may be shocking. They may also cause you to get in your cars, or board planes, to ensure that I get safely to the crazy-house where I belong...

Today I am grateful for working out. GASP! Me?! I know, right! I have worked out 4 of the last 5 days. And by working out I don't mean any of that halfassed crap either. I mean 30+ minutes on the fancypants Precor elliptical and at least another 20 on the treadmill. I've also alternated abs/arms/legs with my cardio. Wednesday it was a 30 minute 'Ab Lab'.

Peeps - I am D.E.A.D. But you know what? I'm the good kind of dead. The kind where I feel like I've accomplished something. And the kind where I am sleeping like a honest-to-goodness CHAMP.

While it is true my abs may fall right off my chubby body, they can pack up and leave with the 2.5 L-B's I've lost this week. BOOYAH GRANDMA!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11

Day 11
Today I am grateful for a bit of flexibility in my schedule. I've mentioned a couple of times around here that things have been kind of crazy at work. Busy and stressful with a growing list of 'to-do's'. Every other week I take a day and work from home. These days have become my salvation. I got more done today than I have in the last week. It is great for those administrative type things (reporting, scheduling, etc). I can just bust through a whole days worth of stuff that would normally be interrupted and take me the whole week (or more) to get through.

Know what else I'm thankful for? Tomorrow is FRIDAY!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

Day 10
Today I am thankful for compliments. After kind of a rough week, this morning I woke up and decided that I was going to fake it 'til I made it. That instead of just blowing my hair straight, pinning my bangs back and tossing on slacks and a sweater, that I would put in some effort. I curled my hair, wore my favorite sweater dress and black tights, and topped it off with fun earrings. I didn't even get to walk in the door when I ran into one of my employees and she said 'Good morning! You look so nice today!'

It made the biggest difference in my mood. Twice more I was told I looked nice today. (I did make a mental note to put in a liiiittle more effort day-to-day because I must have been living in frumpy town for a bit too long.)

I don't think we give compliments enough. I know how great it made me feel and what that did for my spirits. Can you think of the last time you were given a genuine compliment? For the rest of this month, along with thinking more about what I'm thankful for, I'm going to do my best to offer at least one sincere compliment a day. 'I love your new haircut.' 'You did a great job on that project.' etc etc etc. Not only could it impact someone the way I was impacted today, but I think spending time looking for good things will do wonders for my own demeanor.

What do you think? Want to join me in paying it forward? You all are looking very lovely this evening. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 8 / 9

Oops! I make it one week and I trip up and miss a day. My bad!

Day 8 (Yesterday)
I am grateful that J and I get to have the same work schedule. We're home within minutes of each other and it maximizes the time we get to spend in the evenings. Yesterday we went to the gym together, I cooked dinner while he sat at the kitchen table and we chatted (only interrupted by a minor dog-vomit situation we won't talk about here), we snuggled and watched about an hour of tv before we snoozed on the couch, and then we went to bed.

Day 9
Day 9 picks up where Day 8 left off... I'm grateful for spooning. I am so happy that we can go to bed at the same time. That we can lay down together and read until we cannot keep our eyes open any longer. And at the end of the night, when the bedside lamp gets shut off, we snuggle in together to fall asleep. Every night. No matter what. So that even when I'm sitting at work with a busy day ahead of me I can think about that safe place and know that I can make it through another day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Day 7
A restful day. I cannot express just how much I needed a day of rest. A true day of rest. The kind where you don't change out of your pajamas, only eat left overs, and the tv never gets shut off. Today was one of those days. J went to Cabela's with a friend and I was home solo the entire afternoon. I edited pictures, watched Julie and Julia and vegged the entire day. I almost feel up to tackling the week ahead. Good times.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6

Day 6
A successful photoshoot! Today I visited a friend and her twin granddaughters. I spent the morning taking photos of two of the cutest little girls! We had a great time and the photos (that I've been able to get through thus far) are coming out great.

Now I'm home, chili is in the crockpot, and I've got about an hour before our friends show up. I think that some couch surfing is in order.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 5

Day 5
Today I am thankful for a rainy Friday night with no plans. This day has been long and hard (::cough::thatswhatshesaid::cough::) and what is getting me through is that in 4 short hours, the hubs and I will be in our sweats, on the sofa, watching a movie and listening to the rain.

That thought is my happy place today.

That bitch tricked me again!

How do I keep letting her do this to me?!

So, even though I'm doing nothing at the moment to actively conceive, it is never far from my mind. Last Saturday, when CD28 came and went, and I had no PMS signs to speak of, I just thought, 'Hmm. No need to get my hopes up, been there!' I didn't even tell J. Well, yesterday he asked me if I'd started yet. More like, 'Well, you're on your period now, aren't you?'

Well.... not exactly.
Is it over?
Didn't really start yet.
Oh yeah? (Damn that cute smile on his face!)

So I told him that I didn't say anything because it isn't out of the norm for me to go to about 31 days. I did say that if I still hadn't gotten AF by Saturday morning that I would test. We have no tests in our house at the moment (shocking, I know), so while we were at Target we picked some up.

That's all it too. Buying tests. I left for class and on the way home I felt like The Karate Kid had roundhouse kicked my ladybits. I also had the worst gas pains (three months in a row my period has started this way!). Sure enough, when I got home she was making up for lost time.

I try to be in bed by about 9, since I get up at 3:50. On Thursday's my photography class isn't over until 9, but I can usually be in bed by 9:45 at the latest. I was in bed by 9:45 and got up about 10 minutes later in search of my trusty heating pad - he has disappeared! I was so mad my eyes welled up and I decided to stay on the couch and read since I couldn't get comfortable laying down. It wasn't until 11:00 that I was able to go to bed and actually be tired enough not to notice my body splitting in half.

Peeps, I need a good drink and a NAP.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4

Day 4
Today I'm thankful for echo-cardiograms, EKGs, blood tests, and chest x-rays that all come back 'Normal'. J got a referral to a cardiologist to do a stress test and try to recreate the problem, but overall he is the picture of health. I'm thankful that we have a doctor that will listen and help us try and diagnose the problem.

Healthy hubs = Happy Mrs.S

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Watching other's lives pass me by.

Through our struggles with IF I have gotten to know a lot of beautiful and wonderful women. We've bonded over what a pain in the ass (sometimes literally) PCOS can be. How it sometimes feels like we're being punished for something we didn't know we did. The tears, the fears, the hopes and dreams. I'm very lucky to have developed these relationships, even if they are only over the internet.

One thing that is hard (but wonderful at the same time) about these relationships is that eventually someone leaves the pack. The get the job we've all been applying for - motherhood. Oh I love it when someone 'leaves' our ranks. When one of the good-gals gets their lifelong dream. The tears of joy, the laughing, smiley, celebrations that inevitably follow. The happiness I feel for them is endless.

The challenge for me has arrived later. 24 months later and a lot of those women I met in the early days and now at varying stages in between, have these beautiful success stories. There are photos of smiley toddler faces, babies 0-12months, and those that measuring the weeks until they get to meet their child. While my happiness for them is endless, I find myself using their milestones as markers for where I could have been.

My beautiful friend Rachel and her sweet boy Landon is almost 15 months old. I could have had a child almost two months old than him. The ever gorgeous Jessica and her sweet Knox. I swear he gets more handsome each and every time she shows him off! There are still quite a few waiting to meet there spawn, like Jenny and her triplets! Or the wonderful Krista who is about to have her anatomy scan. Each at a different stage, each for me marking a different kind of milestone.

The last thing I want to do by naming the very few I've named above is make anyone feel bad. That certainly isn't my motivation. None of these women have ever done anything but offer kind supportive words and work diligently (Rachel excluded since she's my token Fertile Mertle :) ) to never forget the struggles. To be appreciative for every moment, fear, pain, etc. Because they know intimately that it hurts more to be without. What I will continue to strive for, instead of comparing myself to what they have or what could have been, is to allow their successes to give me hope (okay, maybe not for triplets. Jen is hardCORE and I'm not sure I could cut the mustard like she has!). So that some day, when I get the call to head to the big leagues, I will have had the experiences of these wonderful people to guide me.

Until then, a bit of me will continue to live vicariously through those sweet smiling faces and the ones still on the way.

Day 3

I'm going to share two things today, but one of them is from yesterday, so I am going to call the first one:

Day 2.5
Crisp sunny falls days. Yesterday evening J and I took the dogs for a walk on a local trail. It was sunny and there were call leaves everywhere. The dogs were happy, we chatted the whole time. In that moment my heart could not have been more full.
Day 3
Artistic outlets. Creating things has become my therapy. Whether it is a well organized chart or presentation at work or the photos I took on a lovely fall walk with my husband. I appreciate these small moments to escape to a place within myself that is confident and can do something right. It feels wonderful to accomplish something and even better when someone compliments a work that really came from the heart.

Since I referenced our walk in both of my entries today, here are a couple of photos!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

Today I am thankful for something very superficial - my new work BlackBerry. I cannot express how much easier this is going to make my day-to-day life here. Besides, free smartphone = awesomness!

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 1

I'm a thief. Yes, it's true. I totally stole this idea from... Facebook. ::GASP::

I have decided, as a way to get me back here and writing on the daily, that I will share my month of thankfulness with all of you. In the days when I am so very busy, I can often forget to stop and be grateful for all of the blessings in my life.

This will in no way be a complete list. Or even a list that forms in any particular order (my thoughts are nowhere near that organized). Who will join me?

First and foremost I am, and always will be, thankful for my husband. Through it all (including discussing our absenteeism ballots today... don't get me started!) he is my foundation. He makes me strong and builds me up when I feel like I cannot stand on my own. Love you, J.