Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Journey: Monthly Contributor for Recombine!

You can find me blogging here today!  I am excited to announce that I have been asked to be a monthly contributor at Recombine, a clinical genomic testing company that works to help build families.  They have asked me to help them build their infertility support network and I couldn't be happier to be a part of their blogging team!  Take a minute to check it out!  Thank you all for your continued love and support of our journey!

A New Journey: Monthly Contributor for Recombine!

You can find me blogging here today!  I am excited to announce that I have been asked to be a monthly contributor at Recombine, a clinical genomic testing company that works to help build families.  They have asked me to help them build their infertility support network and I couldn't be happier to be a part of their blogging team!  Take a minute to check it out!  Thank you all for your continued love and support of our journey!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A week of favorites!

Happy Happy Friday blogland!  I’m not sure if you guys know this or not, but here in Illinois we have been getting HAMMERED with storms.  For about 3 weeks now all that we have had in our forecast is rain every. damn. day for weeks now and we are all pretty freakin sick of it.  I’m fairly certain that we won’t get to experience much of a summer this year, however, we do try to make the best of the nice days that we have been having.  This weekend they’re actually calling for Saturday to be sunny and 77 so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that!

Today we are officially 2 WEEKS away from baseline ultrasound and I cannot believe that it’s finally almost here!  We have been seeing this doctor since January, had a hysteroscopy in March and the biopsy in March where they found the Beta 3 Integrin protein deficiency.  It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited that it’s finally here.  The timing couldn’t be more perfect, we are well settled into the house so coming home from retrieval and transfer should be very relaxing.  I feel like over this 9 month break that we have been on, I’ve really found tranquility in our journey, no matter what the outcome may be.  I’ve stopped worrying about certain people, places, things, and situations and it’s been so good for my soul.  I’m not basing anything on what has happened in the past, I’ve got a fresh outlook and a fresh start and I feel very confident about this cycle, but also just have a strong peace of mind about whatever happens.

Totally obsessed with my new Fitbit skin from Kohls!  This Fitbit has really been making me challenge myself regularly & I've also been doing this Jillian Michaels Level 1 Yoga video which has been on repeat for these last couple weeks and I’m really digging it.  I love how relaxing yoga is, but I love how she adds more movement to the poses so that you really do work up a sweat and burn some major calories.  It’s a 35 minute workout and worth checking out! 

So do any of you guys have a water softener?  We do because our well water is “extremely” hard according to Culligan.  I absolutely HATE soft water when it comes to my hair.  I’ve got fine, thin hair and the soft water does nothing but make it even more lifeless.  I decided to do some research and saw a lot of people recommending the Lush shampoo bar in Seanik.  So far I haven’t been able to tell much of a difference.  I am not using any conditioner at all, and haven’t for around 2 weeks now.  The shampoo bar is made with sea salt minerals and is supposed to help voluminze your hair so I’m hoping after a few uses I will start to see a difference. 

So if you all could keep your fingers crossed for a nice day here tomorrow I’d appreciate it.  I found out on Monday that I won tickets to a wine festival in Galena (where we took our honeymoon) called Corkless and Joe and I are really hoping to possibly take the bike up for a day trip.  With everything we have had going on with the house we haven’t been on the bike together yet so I’m really hoping he is off work so we can enjoy the day together.  How can you resist this guy in a fur coat!?

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend!  Hoping for good weather and good time!  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Life Lately...

You guys, I’ve been such a bad blogger and I am so sorry, but sometimes that thing called life gets in the way, or more like is way too amazing at the moment to have time to blog.  We have been moving and settling into our house and it has been so amazing.  We’ve had a little cookout with friends, we’ve gotten the guest bedroom assembled, we’ve got our master bathroom practically complete, I’ve got some d├ęcor on the walls,.  It has been so much fun finding places for knickknacks and photos and all the pieces old and new that we’ve collected.  I’m really enjoying putting it all together and making our house a home.

I bought a Fitbit last week and it’s definitely my new current obsession.  I’m pretty competitive and goal oriented so when it says “your goal is 10,000 steps a day” then that is my goal and I will do whatever it takes to get it.  I’ve also got some uber competitive friends who I’m in challenges with and it’s been a lot of fun so far. 

My yoga practice is still going strong!  If you guys follow me on Instagram then you see my posts every couple days of the poses that I’ve been working on.  I am also going to be taking a Tai Chi Meditation class on Monday’s at the Hegler Carus Mansion here in town, they will have the class on the lawn of the mansion and I can’t wait to try it!  It’s taught by the same instructor who teaches the yoga class I take at the local community college and I really enjoy him so I’m really looking forward to this class.

On the infertility forefront, we are 3 weeks from baseline.  I got my meds Thursday so we are prepped and ready for takeoff!  It’s coming up so quickly I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying!  I can’t say enough about how important it is to continue to keep living life when you’re waiting for a cycle to start.  That’s the biggest challenge of infertility treatment, the time it takes for things to happen.  We can easily get caught up in counting down the days which can easily cause frustration.  My best advice is to just focus on the present moment.  Enjoy the current season of your life, don’t wish the time away, enjoy it for what it is.  That’s what I’ve been doing exponentially these last few months and I have never felt so stress-free going into a cycle.  I am blessed to have the distraction of my house, but if I didn’t have that I would find something else to occupy my mind while the months passed.  It’s been roughly 9 months since we’ve had a cycle and it’s been over 3 that we have been waiting for this one to start and it’s really hard to believe that THAT MUCH time has passed. 

Other than that, we've had TONS of rain here but we did end up with one day of beautiful weather and abundant sunshine so I took advantage of that to swim at my aunts.  Also looking forward to our first house guest this weekend, my cousin will be staying with us.  Father's Day is Sunday and we're having my mom and step dad and Joe's parents out for dinner and Joe's birthday is Monday so we are going to do some celebrating this weekend!  So excited for all we have going on this weekend!

I am sorry to say but I imagine the blog will continue to be a little desolate as we continue to bask in our forever home and all that summer has to offer us over these next couple of weeks!  Hope you're all enjoying your summers so far!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

30 days...

Wow, today is 30 days away from the start of my 4th and hopefully last, IVF cycle.  In one month I will be back into what I now consider a normal routine, vaginal ultrasounds, blood draws, daily subcutaneous injections, daily intramuscular injections, lots of driving, and lots of hoping!  As of right now I’m not spending too much time thinking about this cycle.  I’m still taking my daily progestin, but the house is my focus right now and I definitely think that having such a big distraction is helping keep my head where it needs to be right now.

I still have those thoughts that creep into your mind in the middle of the night that scare you into thinking it may never happen, but I try to calmly remind myself of how different this doctor and this cycle is already and it brings me some relief.  A friend of mine is pregnant for the second time via IVF with my new doctor so that really makes me feel hopeful.  I try hard not to let myself talk myself into failure before the cycle even starts.  Negative thoughts like that are so toxic to your well-being and your peace of mind.  What I remind myself is that this is a brand new cycle, a brand new doctor, and a brand new protocol.  Although I can consider myself an expert in some parts of it, there are some parts I am not familiar with.  

I am trying very hard not to base this cycle on my past cycles.  It reminds me of the quote “it’s not the future that you’re afraid of, it’s repeating the past that makes you anxious”, and of course this is probably pretty spot on for anyone who has had a failed cycle and is in the midst of trying again.  You think of all the things that went wrong, all the symptoms you did or didn’t have, all the pain that it caused, the heartache it caused, and it really can put a damper on how you feel about future cycles.  But this is the kind of thinking that needs to be changed, as hard as that is.  This is where the positive outlook and attitude are vital. 

I still can’t believe how quickly this cycle has come.  It has been a long time since we’ve really done much treatment-wise.  My last IVF was way back in November, after that one failed we decided to take a break, reevaluate the situation, get a second opinion, and now here we are almost 9 months have passed since we have done a cycle & I am definitely ready to grab the bull by the horns and take charge of this cycle.  I WILL stay positive, I WILL stay optimistic, and I WILL be successful.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me & Weekend Recap

Well, today is my 29th birthday!  I cannot believe this is my last year in my twenties!  It gives me a little anxiety to think about, but I am also welcoming a new decade of my life that I think will probably the be best one yet!  Between the house and hopefully expanding our family I know that my thirties will be an amazing chapter of life, but I am going to make the most out of the 29th year of my life.  I'm spending the day today off of work, unpacking at the house, lunching with my bestie and mom, and hopefully getting to do some relaxing as well!

This past weekend was a bit of a whirlwind!  We had 2 weddings to attend, one Saturday and one Sunday so it was pretty much shot for getting anything done at the house.  Joe ended up having to work all day Saturday so I didn't ask much of him on Sunday because he really deserves a day off! All I asked was that he help me get my closet organizer up so I can start bringing clothes over. Thursday and Friday we ended up at the carnival that was in town.  They always have really awesome food, entertainment, and a nice beer garden.  I had a huge slice of pepperoni pizza, a foot long corn dog, deep fried Oreos, a pulled pork sandwich and cheese curds over two days.  It was all worth it, so yummy!  

treated myself to a mani too on Friday!

Saturday we had an early outdoor wedding to attend.  Joe never made it because of work so I went with my friend Jessica.  Her fiance Mike officiated the wedding so her and I went together and made it with about a minute to spare.  It was a beautiful day and a good time for sure.  They had it at a small state park so it was like a big picnic and it was very relaxing.  

Sunday it poured rain and stormed pretty much all day.  We had a wedding in the evening at 5.  It also happens to be my bestie and her husband's (aka my SIL & BIL) birthday weekend as well as hers is tomorrow and his is Wednesday so we did a little birthday celebrating at the wedding as well.  I love sharing my birthday weekend with her, (and him too I guess ;-)) we have always had awesome birthday extravaganzas, our 21st birthday's we spent 3 days in a row drinking because we had to celebrate each of our's!  

So my birthday is today, Jodie's is tomorrow, and Jon's is Wednesday, we all turn 29.  Jodie and Jon have been married for 11 years this year and are HS sweet hearts.  Joe and I have known each other for many years and got together in 2008.  Jodie and I have been friends for 24 years and are now sisters (in law) which is so fun! 

Friday we also go our furniture which was supposed to originally come on Wednesday.  I was really irritated with the whole situation because I had to reschedule Wednesday's delivery and then they no-showed me on Thursday (the rescheduled day), and then they finally got it here Friday around 4. Luckily, seeing the furniture here, and in person all set up really made up for how mad I was about the whole delivery situation.  It looks amazing and really makes this feel like a home now.  

Hope everyone has an amazing week!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Friday Faves - Colorful Summer Favorites Edition

First off I have to let you guys know that we passed our inspection finally on Wednesday and got temporary occupancy for the next 90 days.  We have to finish the siding and pay $55 for the additional inspection (on top of the $1500 we paid in the beginning for our building permit!) in order to get permanent occupancy.  Thanks for all your words of support and luck!

Since it’s officially June and almost officially summer, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been swooning over lately.  I love how colorful everything this year, it just makes me feel all around happy seeing everything so vibrant!

This bag…
I am loving this overnight bag from Tiny Devotions.  They have a bunch of cute ones, but I love the color scheme of this one.  The price is a tad more than I would like to spend for the time being, but it’s definitely on my list & maybe would be a nice birthday gift to myself!

This Nail Polish…

I have been getting gel manicures like they’re going out of style these last few months and I love all the colors, but spending between $30-$40 every 10 or so days is putting a huge, unnecessary dent in my wallet.  I just found the perfect shade of blue called Dive Bar (love the name!) from Sally Hansen at Target and it’s such a fun shade.  Although regular nail polish doesn’t last but a couple days on my nails, the price is much better for my budget.

This Colorful Quartz Druzy Pendant…

I cannot get enough of OM Soul Shop, their stuff is just so wonderful!  I'm obsessed with this Quartz Druzy Pendant necklace & I had such a  hard time choosing between the black, the lavender, and the turquoise, but ultimately stuck with what I love most and that is the turquoise.  The black would be perfect to go with a LBD and really does make a classy statement, the turquoise stands out more to me though and has always been one of my favorite colors.  And bonus, since my order # was 1111 they are sending me a free gift!  How fun!

These awesome Converse Chuck Taylors…

I have always really loved Chucks, they’re comfortable and come in a multitude of colors.  I used to rock pink low tops and black high tops for years, but it’s been awhile since I’ve owned a good pair.  For my cousins wedding in August we are all (and by we are all I mean, all of us family) are wearing Converse since the entire wedding party is also wearing them.  I found this fabulous hand-painted pair on Etsy and asked for them for a birthday present from Joe.  They will go perfectly with my purple and cream dress I’m planning to wear!

These colorful Sassy Cheetah Shorts…

I got these a couple weeks ago from Hot Chakras Yoga and they are amazing. I liked the price, plus I had a coupon code & they are offering free shipping right now with a code of FREESHIP.  I love how colorful these are as are pretty much everything else in their shop.  I really love these Birds of Paradise ones too!

Well, there you have it!  All the fun, colorful stuff that I’ve been swooning over for summer!  What are your favorites for summer?
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