Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Moments to Remember in 2013

Here are some fun photos of some great times in 2013- simply because I am too lazy to write a reflective post right now! 
Adults Only Wine Tasting Weekend in Cottage Grove- January 2013

Easter with the family- March 2013

Backyard makeover- April 2013

Summer Trip- Southern California- June 2013

Lily's Luau- June 2013
Girls Night Out- Kali's Farewell- July 2013

First Camping Trip- July 2013
More camping trip- August 2013
Teagan leaves for college- August 2013
I got to meet Amber from Old Lady No Baby- August 2013

Meet Zeke- September 2013
Anniversary Coast trip- September 2013
2nd Annual White Elephant Christmas Party- December 2013
More party pictures...
and more.
The Office Holiday Party- December 2013

Zoie- Christmas Eve

Office reunion-  December 2013

I wish you all a safe and happy new year!
I hope that 2014 IS YOUR year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ra Ra Ra RAKtivist!

Well folks, it is official; I am now a RAKtivist: a Random Acts of Kindness Activist for randomactsofkindness.org. I am really excited to be part of such a great organization; it feels like I am truly becoming the change I want to see in this world. There was a time in my life when I was any thing but kind. I was random but not kind. However, no matter what mood I was in or what "state" I was in I was always surrounded by kind people who wanted to help me.

This is my chance to pay back all the kindness in my past; I am here to make a difference in the lives of the present people surrounding me, strangers included. I encourage each of you to get involved this new year and make a difference in the world, make this world a kinder place one random act at a time. You won't believe how simple it is!

If you are interested in becoming a RAKtivist and want more info let me know! I will be happy to get you in touch with the right people!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas Eve: A Photo Post

Family love- sister, brother, nieces, nephew.

More silly family- sisters, mom, nephews, brother in laws, dad and niece.

The kiddos opening their presents. 

Teagan's H.S. t-shirt quilt from Grandma (beautiful!)

Homemade mocha mousse desserts cups and caramel apples by Trish

Doggie torture and obligatory home Christmas photo

Friday, December 20, 2013

Oh, Holy... Cramps

A few days ago I noticed that my boobs felt firmer than usual and they looked a little enlarged, too; that's when I knew that AF was on her way. This morning when I woke up I had a stomach ache and as soon as I got up and went to the bathroom I noticed the spotting. Femara is good for one thing; starting my period on time. I didn't even have to contemplate taking a HPT; I never had the chance.

So, what would have been CD 33 has now turned into CD 1 and I have the worst effin cramps ever! Come to think of it, I think that is the only side effect I have from the Femara. Every period after it is hell. Seriously. The first day all I want to do is nothing but cry, complain, and curl up into a ball. But, it's almost Christmas and I gots shit to do, yo! So, pass me the midol and I will be on my way. 

Besides,  I need tampons!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Hello lovelies! Just a reminder that if you haven't already sent out your ornaments; please do so! And if you have already received your ornament please don't forget to email me a photo of it!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Angel Ornament

Mike didn't checked the mail yesterday afternoon and I only checked it on my way to work, so when I got left for work this morning I was surprised to see that I had received a packaged for my birthday! I couldn't wait to get to work so I could see who it was from. When I read the return address I realized it wasn't a birthday present; even though it sorta was because of it's timing but, it was my exchange ornament instead!

I was paired up with Aubrey from Two Hearts and One Dream for the Ornament Exchange and I am so happy about that! I have been following Aubrey's blog for a while now and I am so thrilled that after so much heartache and heartbreak she is finally expecting; TWINS!

I opened the envelope up and inside was this cute little green box covered in Santa's and wrapped inside that was this beautiful red and gold angel. I had told Aubrey that my tree decorations were those colors and she matched them perfectly. However, this angel not only fits perfectly on my tree (even though she is not pictured there), she fits perfectly on my shelf. She will be a keepsake that watches over us daily throughout the year and I will be reminded of how blessed I am to have the sweet friendships I do because of this journey each time I look at her; there surely must be angels watching over me.

Thank you, Aubrey. I love her.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

32 years

Today I celebrated my 32nd birthday and let me tell you, it was a great day! My boss bought everyone at the office lunch in celebration and tonight Mike and I went out with some friends for dinner and drinks and shared some belly laughs. I am so blessed to have a life filled with loving, caring and supportive friends and family. My Facebook was filled was birthday wishes all day long and I had a mailbox full of greeting cards. My mom made my day by accidentally sending me this:
A card for a granddaughter
I laughed so hard when I opened the envelope! I thought there must have been a mistake, but when I read my name on the inside I had to call her and tease her. I will be buying her a Grandma birthday card in January for sure!

Let's hope my 32nd year brings me a nice surprise.... one with ten fingers and ten toes!

Happy Birthday, to me!

Monday, December 9, 2013

20 Ways

May you be inspired by one of these ideas to bring the joy of Christmas to others in your community or around the world this holiday season. 

  1. Visit a homeless shelter or tent city and donate blankets, gloves, socks, hats, or coats. Each little item keeps someone warm and can help them survive those awfully cold nights. 
  2. Sponsor an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Giving tree. This is a new tradition for us, and we had so much fun picking out just the perfect gifts requested on the cards this year! 
  3. If you’re unable to get out to a store to choose an individual angel from their trees around town, you can still donate to the Salvation Army online! A donation online is just like dropping money into those little red buckets. 
  4. One Warm Coat is a national organization dedicated to making sure everyone who needs a warm coat this year gets one. 
  5. If you’re a pet lover, often local animal shelters hold food or toy drives for the animals housed there during Christmastime. These shelters tend to see an influx of new animals when the weather turns cold, because people are more inclined to drop off a stray for fear of them not surviving the cold. Shelters rely on such food donations well into the new year to care for the animals that wander their way.
  6. If you have a particular talent that you could share with others, now would be a great time to volunteer at a local children’s hospital or nursing home. If you play the piano, you could bring Christmas carols to the elderly or bedridden.
  7. You could also participate in Project Linus, which provides handmade blankets to children who are terminally ill or have been traumatized, or who could otherwise just use a warm blanket around them. You can participate by donating a handmade blanket to a nearby Project Linus chapter, or by donating online to help pay for shipping and material costs. 
  8. Ask around in your community, work, schools, or church to see if there is a family with a particular need that you might fulfill. Whether it’s things or service, there is bound to be someone near you who could use some help, and there is bound to be some way you can help them. 
  9. Donate time, money, or food to the local food bank. Food banks always run low this time of year, and their staff is always stretched thin. 
  10. Giving anonymously is great because the recipients won’t know who the gift came from. As a result, they won’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of needing help. If you really want to make someone’s day, seek out that single mother who busts her butt to provide for her kids or that struggling family that works hard but can’t seem to get ahead. 
  11. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen. The cold weather sends people inside more than other times of year, and it seems harder this time of year for people in need to find a warm meal. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen can be a great bonding experience for your family, and can give you a chance to make friends with those less fortunate in our community.. 
  12. Donate to the cause of your choice on behalf of someone else. If a loved one has suffered from Breast Cancer, Miscarriage, Infertility, or any other ailment, you can make a loving donation in the name of a friend or family member that supports a cause close to your heart. 
  13. Toys for Tots is organization that is directed by the US Marine Corps Reserve. At Christmas, coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute donated toys to the less fortunate children of the community.
  14. Save a live. Give blood.Think about it: you giving up a half hour of your life to donate blood could potentially mean giving somebody years that they wouldn't have otherwise had. And you get cookies!
  15. Visit Click to Give . With just the click of your mouse you can help up to 6 charities a day! Giving can't get much simpler than that!
  16. Be daring! Donate those beautiful locks to Locks of Love a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
  17. Leave a surprise behind! Place a dollar- or two some place for someone to find! Here are some ideas: place 4 quarters in the vending machine, place a dollar behind a couple napkins in the napkin dispenser, hide a dollar between some cans of baby food. 
  18. Donate to women's shelters in your area. Chances are they are forgotten about or over looked this time of year.
  19. Send a Christmas card to a stranger. We all know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is going through something or who has been through something that has touched our hearts some how.... share that with them; publicly or anonymously. 
  20. If you don’t have the money or items to donate, simply visit with the folks at the local homeless shelter or tent city, even the folks at the local rest home. Sometimes just feeling like you matter as a person can really uplift someone's spirits.
May your holidays be bright!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Giving Tree

I was talking to my sister the other day as she was shopping for Christmas gifts to give to needy children. Every year she take 2 tags off the Giving Tree; one boy and one girl. This year we decided to do the same. Since we don't have kids of our own, yet we have a ton of love to give, we thought that we would share some of that love with a child in need.

As I browsed the tree, I remember my sister telling me that she tries to pick the oldest kids because they always seem to be left behind. I thought of all the older kids in the need of a loving home, all of the older kids that I skipped over while checking out the adoption websites. It made me hurt. These kids do get picked over. I picked over them.

But, not today. Today, I searched the tree for the oldest kids I could find. Today, I was not going to leave them there, I was going to make their wishes come true. Little did I know that their wishes were going to be so simple. 

I thought that the kids would ask of iTunes gift cards, movies, or video games. I was very wrong. These kids asked for things I take for granted on a daily basis. Gum? Christmas Candy? Nail polish? I couldn't believe that that was all they wanted. One tag read: "socks and boxers", another said "hair brush set and perfume".

At 17 years old I was asking for the most expensive shoes, pants, CDs (music cds not cycle days), electronic devices and whatever else was in style at the time. The things on the these kids list were things that normally ended up stuffed into my stocking. It was humbling to see how easy I had it growing up and how easy it was going to be for me to grant these wishes for these young teens. These kids asked for so little that it was my duty to spoil them a little.

If you haven't ever visited the Giving Tree, I encourage you to do so. If we can't spend Christmas brightening the day of our own children we can at least try to brighten the day of those children a little less fortunate. 

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Smile, You Are on Camera

Why test once when you can test twice?
2 for 2!! We have a surge!
Well, my smiley face came yesterday, after my last cycle update post! I had been feeling some ovary pain and experiencing some cervical mucus and so I figured a positive OPK was close; I didn't know it was going be the next day!

Since I never trust these damn sticks, I test my urine with TWO different readers, you know, to either confuse myself even more, or to get a firm confirmation one way or the other.On cycle day 17 I got a confirmation that I was surging! I was happy to see TWO smiley faces. Talk about double happiness!

The ovary pains have been a little more intense and I have been having sort of an upset tummy combined with some back pain, along with a ton of EWCM; both yesterday and today. Speaking of EWCM, Mike hates it. He says something about not being able to feel anything when there is that much. He hated the PreSeed as well. Thankfully, last night was a success and we have a schedule date tonight and tomorrow. Sounds romantic, right!? Ha!


Brrr! Baby, it's cold outside

Stephanie at The Icing on Our Cake is hosting a FUN scarf swap! 
Be sure to head over to her blog to enter; I did!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


There have been a few BIG FAT POSITIVES in the infertile world and I want to take a moment to celebrate these women and their huge defeats! I understand that just because that second line appears, it doesn't mean everything is all clear... but, for now, I want to take a moment to embrace our dear friends and these HUGE victories!!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cycle Day 16

Gosh, it feels like forever since I last posted about our TTC cycles! We have been on a break lately and we still are, really. Our last medicated and monitored cycle was in April and since then I have tried to put more effort into losing weight than with adding in hormones. I have gone from 203 pounds in to 175. I still have 20 pounds to go but regardless, I am in a better place emotionally and physically right than I was before. 

During our "sabbatical" my cycles went back to being unreliable. At first they were about 42 days long and then some how it went to 74 days! This month I was totally unprepared, I figured that my cycle would go another 40 days or so; at least, but on CD 32 of this month AF came! I was searching for tampons around the house, through drawers, purses and coats. You would think that I would have tampons on hand at all times since AF shows up at the most inconvenient moments! 

I figured that since I wasn't sure when she would show up again I had better use up the Femara I had on hand. So, here we are. I am on CD 16, with EWCM and 3 days worth of negative OPKs. I have the usual cramping and left ovary pain; I don't feel much on the right side, ever. 

I notice that when I near ovulation not only do I get crampy and experience ovary pain, I also feel a bit constipated and I get some low back pain, more than usual. Does anyone else have any weird symptoms they relate to ovulation?

Even though I have my doubts that this cycle will work; I can still hope that my body does it's job. It is the small things that appease me the most these days. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Blogirthsary to me!

Blogoversary? Blog Birthday? Either way, today my blog celebrates it's FIRST year! My blog sure has evolved since my first post; wouldn't ya say?

In celebration of my blog I would love to hear how each of you found me... So, please, in lue of gifts (he he) leave a comment letting me know when and how you found me and anything else you would like to share!

Thank you for all of your continued support, love and encouragement. I am blessed to have you all in my life.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Checking in...

Ornament Exchange Check-in

I just wanted to make sure that everyone has been able to contact their ornament exchange partners.... If you have not connected with one another yet, please do!

Check the Ornament Exchange tab if you still need to find your partner!
If you have not been able to connect with your partner, please email me!

Thank you!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Giveaway

Tis the season for giving! 
What a great time to do a giveway; it is Christmas time and almost my ONE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY!!

Were You Right?


The rules were to:

Tell us 3 things about you and make 1 of them a lie. Try to think about what other bloggers already know about you, what they might not know, and what might shock them. The trick is to make it difficult to tell which of the three is the lie....

Here are three things about me.

1. I saved a boy from drowning during a swimming lesson class and later received an award for it.

2. I never graduated from high school.

3. I got a tattoo on my 18th birthday that I absolutely hate and I've never told my parents.

I did "save" a boy from drowning during swimming lessons. He let go of the sides and couldn't keep himself above water by kicking and using his arms, so he slipped under and down I went. I pulled him back up and to the side. I was awarded a certificate after that for my "heroic" efforts.

Technically, I never really did graduate high school; I never walked with my graduating class. During the summer of my 11th grade I got my G.E.D. I hated high school and was not about to back my senior year. School for me was full of drama, competition, mean girls and nasty boys. I don't regret my G.E.D.

I do not have any tattoo;. at all. If I did, I would not be able to keep it a secret from anyone, let alone my parents!  

So, were you right?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dear Timothy

Dear Timothy,

Happy birthday to my sweet brother; I'm sorry we've never been able to meet. Today would have been your 34th birthday. You were born two years before me yet you never took a breath.

You were mom and dad's first child together and mom carried you for nine months without a single complication. You know mom, she is professional mother, she had carried, and birthed a total of 7 children. She was a pro! Three days before she delivered you she went in for a check up and told the nurse that she hadn't felt you move in a couple days but that she figured you had just ran out of room since you were over-due. The nurse told her not to worry; that sometimes when the baby is ready to come they stop moving as much when they drop into the canal. However,  after the ultrasound mom knew something was wrong, she could tell by the nurses face. Your heart was no longer beating. You had died in mom's womb just days before.
The next day mom gave birth to you, naturally, in the hospital and you never made a sound. Even though the doctor told mom that when you came out you may not look "normal"; you may be blue, it didn't matter.  When the doctor asked if she wanted to see you, the answer was yes! She and dad held your body close as you lay silent in their arms, nothing short of perfect wearing one single scratch on your face that  Mom thinks was from the nurse helping you out.

You were buried later that day. Dad picked out your headstone as mom got ready to leave the hospital. You were honored with service and family prepared a luncheon for mom and dad afterwards. It was a sad day for sure. There were a lot of people who were looking forward to meeting you. You would have had six siblings at the time of your birth and a whole lot of aunts, uncles and cousins.

As a child, I remember visiting your grave several times. We used to go drop off flowers before we moved to Oregon and then when we would come back to California we always tried to make it by to say hello. Even as adult and even though I have never met you, it has always been important that I remember your story. You, Timmy, have a beautiful story. You are my brother.
Trish and I used to talk about what we thought you would be like. Would you look like dad; wear Wranglers and boots all the time like him? Would you be a protective big brother or one that thought his little sisters were annoying? Even though, Timmy, you were not physically our brother you have always been in our hearts, your memory has always been alive. You are a member of this family no matter the number of breaths you took; or didn't take.

I also know that if you were here, Trish may not be; I may not be. After you were born Mom and Dad tried again. They got pregnant with me and at my delivery I was pronounced  a "miracle". Apparently my umbilical cord was tied in a knot. After having two traumas in a row, Mom was over it. But, Dad wanted one more, his dream was to have and raise two children with Mom. I am glad they did. She is a great sister, you would be really proud of her; she is everything I hoped you would have been and more.

Timothy, you would be proud of your family. You would be really proud of your mom and your dad. After losing you mom could have lost it, but, she didn't. Mom says her faith is what helped her though; and dad. She said she remember days after you left she was staring out the window crying, missing you, and she saw her grandmother standing there, with you in her arms. Mom said that she knew at that moment that you were okay and that you were with someone who loved you; mom knew you were safe.

As I battle my way into motherhood, fighting my way through this thing called infertility, your story and mom's faith is something that grounds me. How can mom carry you for 9 months without a single complication and then just lose you? How would I ever be able to do that? I am not sure that I can. Mom is one of a kind; I swear.
I know you are up there watching over me. Dad has told me before that you may be my guardian angel- who knows. All I know it that out of all the people in this world I have known and lost, it's your presence I feel the most.

Timmy, I miss you. I wish I knew you, I wish I could see you; knew what you looked like.  I wish mom never had to say good-bye to you. I hope you know I love you. She loves you. He loves you.

Happy birthday, big brother.

Your Little Sister