Continuing the Fun-Blogging ABC’s

Thanks for the fun ABC post, With Grace and Faith! Thought I’d keep it going! 

A-Age: 33 in November ūüė©

B- Biggest fear: Evil people for sure

C- Current Time: 10:30 pm, past my bedtime

D- Drink you last had: H2O as usual 

E- Easiest Person To Talk To: God! He’s always there. 

F- Favorite song: Oceans, where feet may fail 

G- Grossest Memory: um, maybe the terrible ingrown hair I had when I was younger? Pretty gross!

H- Hometown: Pitt, PA

J- Jealous Of: My dog’s life !

K- Killed Someone: no! Can barely kill a fly. Lol 

L- Longest Relationship: 15 years and counting with my husband ūüíć our 8 year wedding anniversary just happens to be tomorrow ‚̧ԳŹ

M- Middle Name: Victoria

N- Number of Siblings: 1 half-brother 

O- One Wish: to expand our family ūüôŹūüŹĹ

P- Person who you last called: my mom 

Q- Question you‚Äôre always asked: by my hubby, “how was your day?”

R- Reason to live: too many reasons to name!

S- Song you last sang: hmmm.. Tough one. No idea honestly, im guessing whatever was on the radio though. 

T- Time you woke up: 5:30, Im an early bird 

U- Underwear Color: pink ūüíē

V- Vacation Destination: north to Ohio in a few months

W- Worst Habit: picking my cuticles until they bleed ūüė©

X- Xrays you‚Äôve had: a million on my back, neck, chest, etc. 

Y- Your favorite food: mmm… salad

Z- Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

A Little Bit of This & Little Bit of That

Usually, the majority of my posts revolve around our battles with IF, IVF, and RPL.  However, today I felt like veering away from the norm and updating on a few other things happening in our lives.  A few other good things might I add!

Home Improvements

Paint. I am thrilled to say we are FINALLY getting the exterior of our house painted.  Whoot! Whoot! As you can see, I am pretty excited about this.  We have wanted to paint it since 2008 (we hate painting and will not do it ourselves like we did the interior of our home).  A long time coming right? Well, the time is finally here and the company starts the job in about 2 weeks!  It should take about a week start to finish to get the job done.  We are going with a company that has painted 2 other people’s houses we know.  They are a little bit more pricey than some others, but we know the work is top-notch.  After waiting this long, we expect nothing less. There will be 3 colors in total-the body of the house will be 1 color, the columns, fascia, and trim a 2nd color, and lastly, the 3rd color will include the garage door and the front door.  We are finalizing our color choices as we speak!

Gutters. Seamless gutters are set to be installed a week following paint completion.  We found a company that is able to match the gutters to the paint color.  This was not really a huge deal to me, but my significant other on the other hand, different story. Apparently, this is very important to him, so I went with it.  Anyways, we are thrilled about the gutter installation because we have lived 8 years without them and Florida can be awfully rainy at times.  Plus, not having gutters will eventually ruin the new paint job so it only makes sense to get them now.

Molding. My husband and a friend of his have a pretty good deal going where they exchange work with one another free of charge. For those of you who do not know, my spouse is a HVAC technician.  The guy he trades with is a carpenter.  This being said, we are getting crown molding installed into our master bedroom.  I am over the moon about this!!! The molding has already been purchased, it just needs to be painted before installed.  This is something my hubs and I need to do.

Trips

Epcot. My mom and I went to Epcot yesterday and had a fantastic time.  I hadn’t been in many, many years.  We spent most of our time going on rides like The Seas, The Gran Fiesta Tour, Soarin’ (waited in line 2 hours for this one!), Spaceship Earth, and Living with the Land.  I really loved Living with the Land, where you sail through greenhouses. We ended our day eating in “Italy” with delicious pizza, salad, and spaghetti.  I hope to plan another trip back soon with my hubs as he has never been.  Here are a few pictures from our day.

Inside the Greenhouse

Fresh Kale !

Varieties of lettuce, all of which are used in Epcot’s restaurants, making the food there all the more delicious.

My FAVORITE, tomatoes

Florida manatee eating some of that yummy lettuce!

The infamous sphere, formally known as “Spaceship Earth”
   
    
    
    

The Wedding. My 1st cousin is getting married in early October up in Ohio (my husband’s home state, also where my father resides).  We were supposed to go to Ohio this past June, but after our 3rd loss, we decided against it for various reasons.  My baby shower was planned to be then, several of my good friends were pregnant or giving birth, etc.  Anyways, we decided to take the plunge and go to this wedding in a few months. I wasn’t ready in June, but I will be ready in October.  We are both really looking forward to seeing our family and friends.  I am positive this wedding will be such a blast!

Health 

A few weeks ago I posted how incredibly tired I have been lately. Thankfully, the past week or so I am feeling a renewed sense of energy. I am not doing anything different, but hey I will take this positive change.  I can only hope it continues and is a sign of all good things to come!

Stay tuned for a career update this week!

1 Year Gone

A year ago today was one of the hardest days in both of our lives.

It was the day we lost our almost 17 year old Chihuahua, Nacho. He was our baby.

My husband & I got him from the Humane Society a month after we moved into our first place together back in 2003.

Looking back, it was definitely fate how we found our little guy. We were very young at the time; I twenty-one and my husband, just short of twenty.  Although we were both big animal lovers, it was still a spur of the moment decision to get a dog on that chilly December day.

After we briefly discussed getting a dog, we hopped in the car and headed to a Humane Society not too far away from our new place. ¬†When we got off the exit, we followed the directions we had printed off Map Quest. When we arrived to our destination, we found a run down, vacated building. ¬†It looked like no one had inhabited the premises in months. Through all of the Kudzu, you could barely see what used to be a sign on the front that read, “Vero Beach Humane Society.”

I must say, I can clearly remember how disappointed we felt that the Humane Society was no longer there. ¬†I told my husband, “They must have moved to a location around here somewhere, let’s just keep driving and we will find it.” ¬†Now, you must remember that over 10 years ago, you couldn’t just jump on a smart phone for directions-people weren’t even texting back then!

So anyways, we continued on for about a half hour with no luck. ¬†We were not near any populated areas that we could just stop and ask for directions. ¬†It was all back roads and housing developments. ¬†My husband finally said we should just turn around and go home. ¬†The woman in me persisted that we find someone to ask. ¬†All of a sudden, we saw a police car pulled off to the side of the road. ¬†I told my hubs, “There! Pull over! I’ll get out and ask him where it is.” ¬†Like the good husband he is, he listened. ¬†The officer gave us the directions to the new location. ¬†We got right back on the road & soon enough, voila! We were there.

As soon as we walked in, we walked down the first row of dogs. Mostly all large, except for one little black and white Chihuahua that was a yipper. I believe was her name was Pepper.  During our brief discussion of getting a dog, we did agree that the dog would need to be small, but we had no particular breed in mind. To us, small only made the most sense living in a 1 bedroom apartment (at least we had that much sense when we were young).  Anyways, Pepper was cute, but really young and loud.  She was a maybe.

On to the next row. As soon as we turned the corner, I laid eyes on our little man. ¬†I knew immediately he was the one. He was sitting on his bum, cute as a button. The name on his cage read, “Pumpkin” because of his beautiful tan coat. ¬†I have to be honest, and my spouse might get mad that I am revealing this, but he did not want him at first. ¬†If you knew our little boy, I know you must be thinking, “No way!” And I agree-it is pretty hard to believe someone could doubt his cuteness! Who would not want that little Cassanova of a pup we had?

Here I was, “Oh my gosh! Look at him! He is soooo cute! Let’s take him to the visiting room,” and there he was, “Ugh, I don’t know…you really think he is that cute? Lets keep looking.” Then, I recall clear as day, a family walking up to “Pumpkin’s” cage and standing beside us. It appeared to be a mom, dad, and their daughter. She wanted Pumpkin! I told my husband we had to act fast. So, I went and found one of the technicians & asked if we could take him out to visit with him.

Long story short, we took him home (him now being “Nacho”) with us a few days later, and he was ours ever since. During those years, Nacho brought us so much joy, and he taught us so many things. He was a best friend to both of us. He was part of our family. People used to ask me how I was going to survive once he was gone. They would tell me they were worried for me before it even happened. They would say, “you know, it is going to happen, you have to prepare yourself for it.”

Well, here we are, 1 year later. Hard to believe he has been gone for a whole year now, especially when it still hurts like it does.¬†Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. ¬†Although we were never be prepared to lose him, as some people told us to be, we are still surviving thanks to God’s grace. ¬†I will tell you it hasn’t been easy though, losing our first pregnancy a month before his passing, and then 2 more pregnancies both within 8 months after his passing. ¬†It’s been rough. To be completely honest, sometimes I wonder how we have done it, or how we are doing it for that matter.

That said, it is still quite hard for me to put into words just how special he really was to us. I think one day I will get there, but not today. Today, I just wanted to tell you the story of how he came into our lives.  As I am typing this, my tears have some how found a way to sneak out, or pour out I should say.  I guess when I am thinking of him, it happens easily. We love you, little boy!  1 year gone, but never, ever forgotten. 

Summer Bucket List

Summer officially begins on June 21st, but before the school year comes to a close each year, I have my students create a “Summer Bucket List.”  As they were putting the finishing touches on theirs, I decided to create one too.  Hey, why not, right?

Low and behold, here it is:

  1. Color, color, color! 25 more Mandalas that is
  2. Create a new category to our blog, “95 Happy Days of Summer” which will include a picture taken by me on each of the 95 days of Summer 2015
  3. Expand my garden to include okra & flowers
  4. Find a church we feel at home at
  5. Read at least 3 books, any genre
  6. Renew my Yoga membership & try out a Barre class
  7. Take a cruise with my husband
  8. Train my naughty dog to behave better (this will most likely involve obedience classes)
  9. Hold a ceremony honoring our angel babies
  10. Look into publishing our IF story

Summer officially ends on September 23rd. Yes, that’s right, 95 days to get it done. Time to get started! 

 

Every Weekend Should Be a 3 Day Weekend

Don’t you agree? It is almost impossible to get done what needs to be done in just 2 days, and allow yourself time to recharge for the week ahead! ¬†Maybe that is why yesterday was such a good day, along with the rest of the 3 day weekend. Or maybe it was so enjoyable because we weren’t wrapped up in our infertility as we usually are. ¬†Now that I am thinking about it, I am betting it was a combination of both…3 days off + no dwelling on infertility=good times!¬†¬†Saturday we spent the day taking our dogs to a pet friendly beach close by. ¬†One of our dogs had been before, but the other hadn’t. ¬†They both loved it. ¬†Afterwards, we went out to eat where my brother works, a pet friendly outdoor restaurant. Finally, we headed to my parents for a relaxing swim. ¬†Well, I should say that I thought it was going to be a relaxing swim. That was until my husband decided to continually dunk me underwater and throw me up & down like a child in the pool. LOL. I could barely catch my breath wrestling around with him. ¬†My mom pointed out how it was great to see us laughing and having fun again, with no talk of IVF’s and the usual BS. ¬†She was right, it was really nice.¬†

On Sunday, we got up early and went out to breakfast at Bob Evans. ¬†I thought this would be awfully difficult for me, as I haven’t been out to breakfast since I was pregnant the last time. ¬†When I was pregnant with Isaiah and his brother or sister, we went out to breakfast every Sunday at Bob Evans. I am glad we went and I conquered the fear of going back…it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. ¬†In fact, I only teared up once, and no tears actually came out. ¬†I thank God for his comfort. ¬†Later, when we got back home, we did a lot of work around the house, both inside & out. ¬†I was so happy to do some much-needed landscaping even in this sticky, Florida heat. Needless to say, by Sunday night we were both beat!¬†

Yesterday, we went our separate ways-hubs to the golf course & I shopping. I broke down & bought a new comforter for our bed finally! Don’t ask me how it is possible, but the dogs chewed the old one to pieces. ¬†They are so crazy that they have been eating it I think. ¬†I also went to the mall & got the hubs a few early birthday presents (I won’t say what they are because I know he is reading this!!). ¬†My last stop was Michael’s Arts & Crafts. ¬†My favorite stop of the day!!

At Michael’s I bought a 24 pack of PrismaColor colored pencils. I had no clue how expensive these things are until I started looking at them…WOW! ¬†I got colored pencils because I ordered 2 Mandala coloring books after I saw one of my TTC Instagram sisters with one during her 2WW. ¬†I went on Amazon right after I asked her about it, & started checking out these “adult” coloring books. ¬†Let me tell you, they are pretty cool if you are into detail and have the time for it. ¬†When my order arrives, I will discuss more about it. ¬†I also purchased some additional items like paint, candles, & wooden boxes. When finished, they will be part of the upcoming ceremony we have planned to honor our angel babies.

I am incredibly excited for when school gets out next week & I can spend some real time on these projects!!! 

The Happiest Place on Earth

I grew up on Disney. I started going when I was still in diapers, back when we didn’t even live in Florida. Somehow we found a way to make annual trips, and stay at the fancy hotels where I got to eat breakfast with all the characters. ¬†When we werent visiting Disney, I was at home watching Disney movies on replay.

I honestly can’t tell you how many times I have actually been to the Magic Kingdom, but I know it’s been quite a few. ¬†The trips that really stick out to me are:

  • Trip with just me, Nana, & Pap-1990
  • Trip with Mom & stepfather, when Mom was pregnant with my brother (I got Chicken Pox first day there)-1991
  • Trip with my 8th grade class-1997
  • Trip with hubby back when we were in high school (his first time!)-2001
  • Trip with mom, me, & brother-2014

Anyways, I am so excited because my mom & I just booked another trip to Disney in July for her birthday. It will be just the 2 of us this time, a girls only trip! ¬†We booked a really nice room right on Disney’s grounds for a great rate. ¬†We won’t have to drive anywhere, which is a plus. ¬†We can take a ferry back & forth as needed.

Disney is actually just 2 hours away from home, so technically we don’t need to stay the night…but we want to! We will definitely be doing the Magic Kingdom, and possibly Epcot the next day. ¬†If not Epcot, we might hit up one of the zillion outlet malls. ¬†The hotel has what appears to be a beautiful looking spa, and I wouldn’t mind spending my day there either!

One might think that Disney World could be a difficult place for an infertile to go. Kids and babies galore. ¬†Activities catered to children. ¬†Cute little outfits and costumes everywhere you look. ¬†Strollers every couple of feet. ¬†Candy shops and characters. ¬†Actually, all of these things make me even more excited for the day we will FINALLY get to take our kids there. ¬†I can’t wait to make the memories with them that I got to make as a kid. You better believe when that day comes we will have season passes, too!

In the meantime, what better person to go with to the happiest place on Earth than my mom. At times, when we have been trying so hard to have our own baby, it has been easy for me to forget that I am my mom’s baby. The relationship I yearn to have with a child is the one my mom yearned for and still yearns for today with me. These times are so important. ¬†One day, my mom & I won’t be able to do things like this, just the 2 of us anymore. ¬†What a wonderful blessing that we can now.¬†¬†Surviving Infertility has really reaffirmed how my relationship with my mom will be just as important as my relationship with my child. ¬†I am truly blessed to have a mom like I do, as I know many people don’t have this precious gift.

This being said, I plan to enjoy our special trip…as a 30 something year old kid with her wonderful mom…getting to go to my most very favorite place of all!

More Uplifting Reads 

I love reading. I find it to be a release.  I have enjoyed reading since I was little.  When school got out in the summers, my mom & I spent quite a bit of our time at the library each week.  I would get several fictional books at a time.  As a kid with no major responsibilities, I would sit down & read the book from start to finish in 1 day (if it was a really good one). As an adult, the same still applies if I have the time to pull it off.

No one really dislikes reading. ¬†People who say they dislike reading just aren’t reading the right things. Unfortunately for them they never found their calling in the wonderful world of print. ¬†I would guess this occurred when they were pretty young, and they gave up the search.

On top of reading fiction, I try to read a little non-fiction as well. ¬†Usually in the form of magazines or newspapers. ¬†Non-fiction keeps me on top of what is happening in the world around us when I don’t want to watch the morbid news.

Over the past few years, we have started to get into some inspirational reading.  Specifically, daily devotionals.  I find devotionals to be great because they are short, but sweet, uplifting messages, that can help start your days off right.  The devotionals have been a huge help for the hubs & I as we struggle to survive infertility and RPL day to day.

I also like following a schedule and a devotional does just that.  Once I start a devotional, I feel pretty committed to it because of those dates at the top of each page.  Here is a great one that a fellow infertile recommended to me awhile back:

There are several versions of Jesus Calling.  If you like to take notes about your feelings when you read, you would want to buy the larger version of this one, as the small one I have (above) does not have space to write.

The devotional includes a message and lists the chapter and verse of the bible where you can look to find the scripture that applies to the message. Since the bible verses aren’t actually written out, you have to get out your bible and look them up! This devotional is not just for women, it is for men, too.

This is the devotional I got the hubs:

He really likes it. ¬†It is set up a little differently than Jesus Calling. ¬†This one has specific topics on each page, whereas Jesus Calling does not. ¬†For example this men’s has topics like, “work,” or “family,” with the message and the bible verse actually written out. ¬†In other words, he does not have to look up the actual verses in his bible, they are right there for him. ¬†If your husband is like mine, he might not be much of an avid reader so this works out well for him to do on his own.

I would love to hear from any bloggers out there who have devotionals in mind that they have loved! I am not much into the e-devotionals, I really prefer an old school book where I can manually flip the pages.

Real Neat Blog Award

real-neat-blog-award

Thank you Our Greatest Desire for nominating us for the Real Neat Blog Award!!

This past week has been humbling, as my writing has been noticed in special ways by people experiencing similar struggles to ours.

I love what goes along with this award because it is a break away from all the intensity and seriousness that we sometimes associate with our infertility! This post will be just for fun & getting to know us in a different way, that is a non-IVF or RPL kinda way…

Rules for ‚ÄúThe Real Neat Blog Award‚ÄĚ:

  1. Put the Award Logo in your post.
  2. Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the person/people who nominated you and link to their blogs.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blogs.
  5. Ask them 7 questions.
  6. Let them know you’ve nominated them with a comment.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers (your questions are at the bottom):

Meet the Hopefuls

Steps to Parenthood

Mosira 

ivfy15

Sweeping Up the Broken Pieces 


Now for the questions I had to answer:

1.  If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Definitely a bird. ¬†Not because I love birds; only because I love their ability to fly. Humans consider flying a “super power” for a reason. I think it would be amazing to easily travel the world whenever I like, without depending on some form of transportation other than myself.

2.  If you could only visit one National Park, which one would you choose and why?

This question brought to my attention how I desperately need to tighten up my knowledge of National Parks. The only one I can even come up with is Yellowstone! And I can’t even tell you if I’d in all honesty want to go here. ¬†I am pretty sure this is where Yogi and Boo-boo reside isn’t it?? They seem like pretty fun guys! On the other hand, I think Yellowstone might also be the place that people talk about one day exploding or something insane?? Who knows. ¬†Next question!!

3.  If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Okay, so I would go with Abraham Lincoln! Kinda weird, right? I know. ¬†But the guy is intriguing, even for a non-history buff. ¬†I would choose Honest Abe because not only was he the 16th President, but because he put others before himself throughout his life. ¬†If he hadn’t been our President & McKinley would have gotten in, we would most likely be living in two different countries in the present day USA. ¬†Lincoln fought to keep the Union together, he fought for those underprivileged, and I think it says a lot about his character. ¬†Plus, he looks like a cool guy with the top hat and beard.

4.  What is your favorite movie for each decade of your life?

1980’s-No surprise the 80’s delivered as it did….It would be ridiculous to even have to pick from these 3 movies-The Land Before Time (1986), The Little Mermaid (1989), & Fievel: An American Tale (1986), so I’m not!

1990’s-Another great decade. ¬†Can’t choose between Home Alone (1990) and Titanic (1997)

2000’s-The Notebook (2004) takes it

2010’s-Too soon to say…

5.  If you could only listen to one band/Singer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Throwback Mariah Carey.  Easy one.

6.  If you could only eat one food for the rest of you life, what would it be?

This is a tough one for me! People who know me know I am a total foodie. Whenever I have to fill in something to describe myself, or a skill I have, I wonder if it’s OK to put down “food connoisseur,” or if people will just burst out in complete laughter? I really enjoy a wide variety of foods (not picky in the least sense), but if I had to choose just 1 it would have to be spaghetti, simply due to my Italian heritage.

7.  How did you meet your Significant Other?

(Taken from Our Story part 1) I will never forget the day we formally met.¬† It was October of my senior year.¬† As I went to lunch, I sat at my usual table with my usual friends.¬† We attended a fairly small high school and most people knew each other.¬† All of a sudden, my friend pointed out this unfamiliar guy, stating he was ‚Äúpretty hot.‚Ä̬† I took a look, and was surprised I never noticed him before! Who was this Casanova? LOL.¬† Next thing I knew, I was being introduced to him by his friend, that little did I know, in 7 years would be a future groomsmen in our wedding. ¬†He asked me out that night to Subway (gotta love high school budgets) and though it sounds so cliche, soon after that we were in love and the rest was history


Okay, now here are your questions:

1. What are your top 3 favorite books and why?

2. What is your best childhood memory?

3. What do you feel most proud of?

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

5. If you could only keep 3 of your possessions, what would they be and why?

6. What are you most afraid of?

7. If you won the lotto, what would you do with the money?

Looking forward to getting to know you ladies better!

Turning Over a New Leaf 

Starting fresh.  Taking a leap of faith.  Believing in the unknown.  

I officially put in my resignation a little over a week ago.  It’s not a secret. Most of those close to us who are reading this already know I did. 

This post isn’t about getting approval, or backlash, it is simply about what it says…turning over a new leaf, and I think the image at the bottom says it all (I won’t get into all the details again as to why I have decided to leave teaching for now, but please feel free to read our previous post, “the time has come”).

I will tell you that we made sure we were in the right frame of mind when we made this decision. We didn’t want to make any major decisions based solely on the hurt we have endured. This is why I continued working through the remainder of this year, rather than simply resigning before, or after my medical leave ended. 

After many heart to hearts with each other and with the Big Guy upstairs, I am happy to report that there was, and still isn’t even 1 doubt in our minds that it is the best choice for us and our lives right now. 

When I gave my letter, I literally felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Not only are we at total peace, we also have the full support of those around us. Does this mean I will never teach littles again? Not at all! That’s the wonderful thing about teaching-it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It will be right where I left it.

So, what will I be doing come the fall then? Will I just be sitting around blogging all day? Ha! I wish! Wouldn’t that be perfect? I do know that I will not be obtaining a full-time job for the time being (one of the main reasons I am leaving teaching right now).  I also know that I will continue to be a professor at the college, teaching classes online as I currently am.

In addition, I have been offered a pretty cool opportunity at the college to become an “observer.” What this means is, as a professor, I will get paid to observe students teach lessons who are pursuing their bachelor’s degrees in education.  So excited for this!

On top of these part-time gigs, I hope to do some writing where I actually do get paid! There are a few possibilities currently awaiting, and I honestly cannot wait to pursue them.  This blog has really brought out my passion and love for writing more than ever. I always knew there was a spark, it was just a matter of igniting it.  Another blessing in disguise.

Again, thanks to God, and “Surviving Infertility”  we are ready for another new path. Faith, hope, and trust are truly amazing things!