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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

365 days ago, I was a different person

I hadn’t intended to write about this day – or even really think twice about it. But then Timehop reminded me of a few photos taken one year ago today, and I couldn’t help but think about what has changed in the last year. Because, 365 days ago, we found out we were pregnant.

We were overjoyed, yet na├»ve, thrilled yet a little bit overwhelmed. We had been waiting for what felt like forever. A year later, still waiting, I can tell you we had no idea just how long “forever” could be.

I was over-the-moon to see the word “pregnant” on a series—yes, a series—of tests. Even though a tiny little part of me knew that something could go wrong, and I instantly became a nervous wreck, deep down I just assumed that this was it.

But it wasn’t it. We lost the baby and started on a fertility journey that still has so many unanswered questions and no clear direction.

A few months ago, I had coffee with a friend who has been struggling with infertility for over two years. While our situations are different, we could relate on a lot of levels. I told her I felt these experiences had changed me, and she asked, “how?” Not because she didn’t believe me, but because she genuinely cared about how this journey was affecting me.

I had to think about it for a minute. There are a lot of ways I could describe it; it’s changed me in both good and bad ways.

My husband might tell you it’s made me depressed. He worries about me and doesn’t like to see me sad, even if it’s only on occasion or in completely normal situations.
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My mom and my mother-in-law might tell you it’s made me stronger. I love their faith in me, especially on the days when I don’t feel it to be true.

Some friends might tell you it’s made me distant. Others might tell you it’s made me more empathetic and nurturing.

My faith might tell you it’s made me unsteady. It’s not easy battling conflicting emotions of wanting to lean into faith and prayer for healing, and at the same time feeling discouraged and confused.
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My body might tell you it’s made me weak. I am not the same person I was before I got pregnant, and yet I don’t even have pregnancy to blame. The hormones and medical treatments have done damage in their own ways, but my emotions and comfort-seeking eating habits haven’t helped either.

I might tell you it’s given me a new perspective. Of course, sometimes this new perspective can seem angry for frustrated, but I like to think it’s not all the time. Most of the time, I try and focus on being grateful for the blessings we do have, and patient for whatever life has in store for us. I don’t take things for granted, and consider myself incredibly lucky to have a partner like Sean to wade through this messy stuff with.

I may have known 365 days ago that big changes were in store for me, but they weren’t quite as I had planned. Life is unpredictable, and if I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that. The next 365 days will bring about its own challenges. Of this, I’m sure. But I like to think we’re ready to handle it, and ready to embrace the changes that come along with it.
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Where did this last week go?

I’m writing this from the comfort of my home office (read: my couch) because we just got 10 inches of snow overnight. Sean took my 4-wheel-drive car to work, which means there’s not a chance in hell I’m braving these messy streets with his, so work from home it is.


This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind. It started last Friday, when I had a quick Valentine’s Day breakfast date with Sean before hitting the road to Chicago with my mom. We spent the weekend just outside of the city to watch my sister’s volleyball tournament. We didn’t do much outside of watching volleyball (hey, it’s what we came to do), but we had a lot of fun. The girls did a great job and ended up 7-2 for the weekend!


I had to miss their last few games on Monday because I flew to New York City for work. After a small delay because of the Chicago weather, I got into NYC around rush hour. By the time I made it to my hotel, I didn’t have much time to explore. I hit up the hotel gym, which had stunning views of the Hudson River and the Financial District, and then walked to Chelsea Market to explore and grab some dinner.



Tuesday was my birthday. We were on a photo shoot all day, and when I mentioned to our producer that it was one of our talent’s birthdays (along with mine) she called in a favor with the catering company and had a delicious chocolate cake delivered with our lunch. The whole crew sang to us – my face of course turning bright red – and they made us feel incredibly special. Once we wrapped, we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit before heading out to a fabulous dinner. Once again, the team did everything they could to make me feel special – ensuring we ordered anything and everything I could’ve wanted, and once again getting the entire restaurant to sing me happy birthday over dessert. I finished the night watching the Olympics in bed while FaceTiming with Sean and the pup. It ended up being a great day!  



On Wednesday, it was time to finally come home sweet home. I was so happy to see my boys and ready to get back to a routine. Then of course, after just 1 day in the office, snowmageddon rolled in and interrupted said routine, but I’m ok with it!



Now there’s just ten days and counting until the sunshine and beaches of Cabo San Lucas. Of course, with weeks as busy as these, spring will be here before we know it, right?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A few (Ok, a LOT) of my favorite things

I thought I’d share a few 30-themed posts with you in keeping with my upcoming birthday. Up first, 30 of my favorite things!
 
I could easily fill this list with people and feelings that make my life complete. But I’m taking the Oprah route – talking purely items/object/products here. Very materialistic of me, right? If I were Oprah, I’d roll these 30 things out in style and send you each home with one of everything. But I’m not Oprah, and much to my dismay, I’m not a millionaire. So instead you just get a blog post about them.
  1. Jeep Grand Cherokees: I love my Jeep –and have several friends who feel the same way. Sean says we will never get rid of it. I’ve loved these cars since I was a teenager. When I was 17, I even went as far as to reach out to someone who was selling their Jeep as a private party sale - and meet them to look at it and test drive it – thinking surely it wasn’t that hard to sell the car I already had and just buy a different (and more expensive) one. My mom sure appreciated that.
  2. Olay Ultra Moisture Lotion: My MIL introduced me to this and it’s the best body lotion I’ve found. It makes my skin so soft! It smells great, too, but doesn’t have a fragrance. Does that make sense
  3. Arbonne Clear Advantage: In the past couple years, I’ve fallen victim to some bad adult acne. How fun! My hormones of this past year have not helped any. My mom’s friend sells Arbonne products and had me try their Clear Advantage line. It hasn’t solved the problem, but it’s definitely helping and better than other products I’ve tried.
  4. Essie nail polish: I used to be a total OPI snob (still do love it), but have become obsessed with Essie lately. Let’s face it. I just have a nail polish addiction in general!
  5. Pleasures perfume by Estee Lauder: I’m sad to say that my favorite scent, Pleasures Delight, was discontinued. I’ve been squeaking by on my last bottle, but it will soon be time to find a new favorite.
  6. LaCroix sparkling water: Lime or Cran Raspberry. The fridge is almost always stocked with them. I have a SodaStream that I also love, but it doesn’t compare when LaCroix is what I’m craving.
  7. Netflix: I love being able to watch a movie or TV show at a moment’s notice. I’ve started watching on the iPad while doing cardio at the gym and it makes the time so much more enjoyable!
  8. Lifetime Fitness: I’m a little biased because, technically, I haven’t belonged to another gym. But it’s definitely my favorite place for a good sweat session.
  9. Swedish Fish: I have a serious weakness for these. I have to limit how often I buy them because I can down a bag in no time at all.
  10. My iPhone: Need I say more?


  11. Moscato: I love the slightly sparkling, light and sweet flavor of a good Moscato wine.
  12. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting: Since I was little, my favorite birthday cake has always been yellow cake (from a box!) with chocolate frosting. Yum!
  13. Orchids: My favorite flower
  14. Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry: I got a sample of this at Sephora and instantly fell in love. I have naturally straight-ish hair so I’m not sure how it works for others, but this helps keep my hair soft and smooth and vastly decreases the amount of time (if at all) I have to spend on straightening.
  15. 5 Gum: I must have at least one pack of Cobalt on me at all times.
  16. Asics running shoes: I am not a runner. But these are my favorite shoes for working out. I’ve tried other brands but Asics has always given me the best support and comfort.
  17. Chipotle: Did you know I used to hate Chipotle? One day I gave it another shot and fell in love. I could eat it every day if you let me.
  18. Social media: I admit it, I really do love social media like Facebook, Instagram, and blogs.
  19. Pottery barn blankets: They are a bit pricey (for a blanket, in my opinion) but are the best blankets to have around! I’ve currently got my eye on the cozy cable knit throw.
  20. Pilot Precise pens: I am a bit of a snob when it comes to the kind of pen I use at work. I am obsessed with Pilot Precise V5 (in blue), so I bought of 2 dozen on Amazon and won’t run out for a long time!
  21. Excedrin: It is by and large the only thing that will cure a headache for me. I swear by it.
  22. My Canon DSLR: I have the T4i (I am nowhere near a professional, so I don’t need anything too fancy) and love it. I pretty much have a camera with me everywhere I go.
  23. Pandora Radio: I love being able to change up my music routine to match my mood.
  24. Keebler Club Multi Grain Minis: This is so random, but I picked up a box at the store one day a few months ago and suddenly can’t get enough of them.
  25. Kindle: I mostly use the Kindle app on various devices (as opposed to my actual Kindle), but I love, love, love it! It is such an easy way to read often and anywhere.
  26. Kitchen Aid Mixer: I’ve always wanted one of these and we finally got it as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. It makes baking and cooking so much easier. I’m constantly looking for more excuses to use it!
  27. Fitbit: I’ve had mine for about 7-8 months now and I love it. Sean has one, too, and we’re super competitive about it. It motivates us to be more active, and helps me keep in check with how I’m doing.
  28. Homemade popcorn: I don’t think I can ever go back to microwaved popcorn. It’s so much better from scratch.  
  29. Etsy: I can find anything and everything on Etsy. It’s overwhelming sometimes all the choices there are, but it’s wonderful, too!
  30. Target: It’s dangerous how much money I could spend there. After their credit card fiasco, I saw a tweet that said something like “Target could change their logo to a giant middle finger and I would still shop there before Walmart.” I feel like that kind of sums it up for me.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday randoms.

Friday. That fabulous day of the week where my alarm seems like slightly less of an asshole, only because I know tomorrow I won’t be needing it. In our house, Fridays are not nearly as exciting when it’s actually a Wednesday for Sean. But I’m happy for the weekend nonetheless.

A few random thoughts for today:

1.  Can someone please tell me what kind of wood to choose for our kitchen floor? I really want to go dark, but then it wouldn’t match any of the other floors in our house. The floor we have now doesn’t match any of them either, though. Why must this be so hard?!? We want something we’ll love, but also something others will (hopefully) love since we might just bite the bullet on moving sometime in the next year or two.
See - I want this please!
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2. I have big plans this weekend. I’m going to spend a cozy night at home watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, catch a movie and dinner with my mother-in-law, and hit up the outlet mall with a couple friends. Sounds pretty perfect to me.
 
3.  There’s been a local news story the last couple of days about a baby who is missing from Wisconsin. The mom woke up to find the baby gone. It sounds absolutely horrible and my heart immediately went out to the family. Thankfully they found the baby today in Iowa. But can I just share with you the text my husband sent me about it yesterday? I may be pining for a baby of our own, but I’m not going to go all Lifetime movie and take someone else’s, thank you very much.  
 
4.  I made a batch of homemade butterfingers this weekend to bring to a few different Super Bowl gatherings. Sean brought a few of the leftovers to work and people were apparently hounding him for more. So I made a second batch last night just for them. One girl even offered to pay him if she could have a separate bag of her own. Perhaps I need to discover a few more recipes and start my own business? I could get on board with that!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thirty


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In less than two weeks, I’ll be thirty. 3-0. It’s sort of strange to think about. In a lot of ways, I feel so much younger – still an impressionable young adult who needs her mommy, has fears of the future, and likes to pretend the right choice is always the easiest one. When I picture where my mom was at 30 –newly married and mama to an 11-year-old and soon-to-be newborn – I’m amazed. In my eyes, she’s always been so grown up, and yet – she was my age. It just boggles my mind sometimes.

And then other days, I feel like 30 is exactly where I am and where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of life lessons, earned respect and proven myself at work, and carried the weight of the world on my shoulders once or twice. And I feel like my life has been so full. I’ve done so much, been blessed with so many things. And when I think about all of it, it seems like 30 years have really flown by!

I know some people get a bit anxious about milestone ages. For whatever reason, it really doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’m looking forward to it!

So in celebration, I’ll be posting a few 30-themed posts over the next couple of weeks. And as my husband will tell you, 30 is a BIG number. So when it comes to lists of 30 things, I’ll try and keep them interesting enough to read. And short. Because I’ve been told I’m long-winded. (In fact, someone just reminded me of it at work today.) So I’m working it.

And on that note. The end.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

31 Things to be Thankful for in January

This year, I'll be sharing the things I'm thankful for at the end of each month - one for each day of the month. I've always enjoyed reading this over at Words of Williams, and thought it was a great way to reflect on everything I have to be thankful for - big and small.

So without further ado, 31 things I was thankful for in January (in no particular order):
  1. Days off with my husband (with his new schedule, it doesn't happen as often as we'd like).
  2. Heat. In my house. In my car. At work. Heat everywhere!
  3. An early birthday present from my mother-in-law.
  4. The option to work from home when the temperature feels like 50 degrees below zero. 
  5. Friends that, despite living 250 miles away, can come in town and act like we've never been apart.
  6. Sweat sessions at the gym that end with the ultimate endorphin high. 
  7. A gift certificate (Christmas present) for a night away with my husband.
  8. Relaxing pedicures on cold winter nights.
  9. Target. I know people have a lot of beef with them these days, but I will never stop loving Target. 
  10. Paid holidays. 
  11. Getting to talk to my mom nearly every day. 
  12. My heating pad. 
  13. Great coworkers who make stressful days so much more bearable. 
  14. Will power. Maybe if I appreciate it more, it will come around more often. 
  15. Honest people who turn in something valuable after some dope leaves it behind. 
  16. Digital photography. 
  17. A (working) snowblower.
  18. Great neighbors, especially the ones who will call you to tell you your garage door was left wide open. 
  19. Family game nights.
  20. Puppy snuggles.
  21. A clean house, especially when it stays that way for more than 2 days.
  22. A car that can make it through the snowy streets. 
  23. Forgiveness.
  24. A good book (just finished #4; still on track to read one a week this year!)
  25. Text messaging.
  26. Prayer.
  27. Execedrin, the ONLY thing that ever cures my headaches.
  28. Netflix.
  29. Surprise early birthday parties!
  30. Friends to whom you can tell anything, and vice versa.
  31. A relaxing bus ride home in gridlock traffic.