Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Look

Hello blog world! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is ready to move into 2009!

I created a new blog look so it could support my 101 list, which I will keep on the left column. Its also going to take me a few days to get all the blogs that I read back onto my page because, yes, I deleted the widget that had them in my layout. Lovely.

On the TTC front, I might have O'd on Christmas. I need another high temp. We'll see tomorrow but I really hope I am now in the 2 WW.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all of my friends a wonderful Christmas!

I got kind of emotional today thinking about how this year turned out for me. I really hoped to be pregnant by the end of this year but even though that didnt happen, I have alot to be thankful for:

1. My mom- diagnosed with uterine cancer but her surgery was 100% successful.
2. Dan- He and I have had the best year of our marriage thus far. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and really found our "groove" when it came to communicating and respecting one another and our relationship
3. My job- I have one, simple as that. I have seen so many people lose their jobs and for me to have one (and one that I like on top of that) makes me so happy
4. My friends- I have made many new friends this year and have continued friendship with people that have always meant alot to me. I have also re-connected with a friend, actually my best friend for many years, and its hard for me to put in words the joy and peace that I feel to have her back in my life.

So, I might not be pregnant but looking back, this year has been awesome. God has blessed me and has blessed many people around me. I am happy its Christmas time because it helps me remember that God loves us so much that he sent his only son to us. Thats the best gift of all!

Merry Christmas, my friends. May God Bless you and yours during this holiday season!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My 101 in 1001 days

When I heard about the 101 things in 1001 days, I knew I had to participate in it. For me, its a way to get my life back. Its a way to quit living with the "what ifs" and "how comes" that are a part of my infertility journey. Instead, Im choosing to focus on what I want to do. Some things are small, some things are larger but I believe that all of them will help me be a better me.

I am posting the list now, although I will be starting it on January 1, 2009. I realize its kind of "New Years Resolution Cliche-ish" but I dont care. If anyone else makes their own list, I cant wait to check it out. I plan to expand my blog to include the completion of the items on my list. So look forward to that :)

Without further adieu, here is my list:

- Take the time to cut and color my hair every 3 months
- Keep a journal
- Make a list of 20 things I like about myself
- Buy a good bra
- Learn European and African geography
- Try 5 new restaurants
- Learn to say “Im sorry” without making excuses
- Quit swearing
- Improve my handwriting
- Keep my car cleaner
- Go see a movie alone
- Get a massage
- Try sushi
- Get a make-up consultation and buy what they suggest
- Write a letter to myself that I can read in 10 years
- Learn how to use chopsticks

- Complete a random act of kindness
- Send a care package to a soldier
- Work at a food bank
- Donate 10 items to charity
- Increase our donation to church
- Have a garage sale and donate all money to charity
- Over tip when I receive extra ordinary service
- Send actual birthday cards to 3 friends per year
- Give 3 “just because” gifts per year
- Write a letter to a store manager after receiving good service
- Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
- Stop at a child’s lemonade stand

- Buy a new camera
- Take a photography class
- Read War and Peace
- Read The Grapes of Wrath
- Read The Bible
- Rent and watch 5 classic movies
- Climb a mountain
- Take a sign language course
- Create a food blog with photos
- Go to a make-your-own-pottery place
- Make homemade greeting cards
- Go white water rafting
- Try a new recipe once a week
- Visit 5 states that I haven’t been to
- See Chris Tomlin in concert
- Bake bread from scratch
- Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
- Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it

- Run 250 miles a year (about one mile, 5 times a week)
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator when in a building with 5 or less flights
- Buy good running shoes
- Try accupuncture
- Take a yoga class
- Keep a food journal for one month
- Lose 10 lbs
- Quit drinking pop
- Use moisturizer with sunscreen every day
- Eat a fruit or vegetable every day
- Try 3 new fruits or vegetables
- Get a few freckles/moles checked out

With Dan
- Go to a drive-in movie
- Fly a kite together
- Go to NYC together
- Eat dessert Serendipity 3
- Go on a picnic
- Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Lay on a blanket under the stars
- Build a snow man together
- Go apple picking
- Organize a love scavenger hunt with post-its
- Spend one night a week with no TV
- Watch the sunset or sunrise on a beach (or both!)
- Make a list of why I love Dan and give it to him
- Visit a planetarium
- Complete “The Love Dare”
- Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
- Pray each night together

- Take my grandparents to dinner
- Write letters to my parents
- Learn to make my mom’s brownies
- Learn to make my grandma’s stuffed cabbage
- Find out about my family history and document it
- Go on a trip with my sister
- Go to a HS football game with my grandpa
- Visit my grandma and uncle’s graves
- Send my mom flowers
- Send actual cards at random times to extended family
- Have my sister and brother-in-laws over for game night

- Finish bathroom remodel and post before/after pics
- Finish Great Room/Family room remodel and post before/after pics
- Get basement waterproofed and carpeted

- Find a mentor
- Join the Cleveland Claims Association

- Buy re-usable bags
- Start a compost pile
- Turn water off when brushing teeth
- Make all natural cleaning supplies
- Plant a tree and take care of it
- Plant a full garden and use items from it 3 times a week
- Set up laundry line inside and outside instead of using dryer

The List
- Donate $5 for each goal I do not complete
- When I finish all of the items, make a new list

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mission Ovulation 2008

Day 26: Ovulation? Still MIA.

Trying my hardest not to scream (or cry, sometimes I want to cry) because I am just frustrated with waiting to ovulate. And although I made jokes about why I am frustrated, the biggest reason is that I am afraid that my body will revert back to its non-ovulating self. Although I have had almost a year of ovulation, why now? *sigh*

Here is a question- I have heard that its common to have an anovulatory cycle once in awhile, but has this happened to any of you girls? And how did it happen? Did you just not ovulate, get a "period" and then move onto a new cycle? Or did you have to go through the Provera/Prometrium route to get things moving.

On a non TTC note, I hope everyone is enjoying the last few days before Christmas! Only 4 more days!

"Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Come ON already!

Disclaimer- I know that many people ovulate late into their cycle (if they ovulate at all) so I do not want to disrespect any of my "Late-Ovulation-Pals" I love you girls and hope your ovaries get their stuff in gear soon, too!

Onto my post....

I am so dang irritated this cycle. I have had like 5 + OPK's this month and I am now on CD 23, yet I have not ovulated. Why does this irritate me so much? Well here's my list:

1. I have had to start temping again because I need some way to confirm O. And I dont want to temp. I hate my thermometer, its the devil.

2. It makes me very scared to think about not ovulating. I went through that already and did the Clomid thing. I just dont want to go through it again.

3. I love Dan with all my heart. But the sex-marathon has got to end. I need a rest and Im pretty sure he does, too.

4. I bought the pineapple so I could eat the core. I cut it up on CD 16 thinking Id ovulate any day now. Well now the core is in a tupperware in my fridge and I saw mold growing on it. I gagged when I looked at it and now I cant go into the fridge until Dan comes home and throws it out.

5. Im sick of peeing on the OPK. A couple days? No problem. I have been peeing on them since CD 14. Thats 10 days of trying to find a McDonald's bathroom when I am on the road and then shoving a peed on stick in my pocket so that I can then set it on my dashboard and stare at it.

So anyways, if you could keep my ovaries in your prayers tonight I would appreciate it :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Its my own fault, but still...

I am SO sick of comments that people make about my troubles with TTC. And I am quite aware that its my own fault for being open about my journey with those who ask, but part of me wishes I could take that back my openess and crawl into a hole. One deep, deep down where I dont have to hear stuff like this:

"Just relax, when you quit thinking about it, it will happen"
REALLY? Because although I am gaining acceptance on my journey, I dont think I am able to quit thinking about the fact that I might not ever carry a biological child. So yeah, thanks

"Enjoy your time without kids. My kid barfed/peed/crapped etc on me last night and it was horrible. The time without kids is the best!"
Um, I realize that kids are alot of work. Im sure is not delightful to have some take a dump on your arm. But still, it does not make me feel one ounce better. It actually makes my heart ache more so thats awesome

"I hope you arent thinking about taking fertility drugs? You arent, are you? Because you'll end up with a whole van of kids. Just adopt. Adoption is so much easier"
Where to begin that does not involve kicking someone in the face? I cannot stand to listen to people's uninformed position on fertility treatement. And adoption? Not that easy. I would know, we are looking into it. So again, thanks.

I love this article. I am sure I have posted it before, but heck, I am posting it again. Its a great guide on how to treat someone who is dealing with probably one of the hardest things of their life:

I should also point out, however, that for every obnoxious comment I receive, I also receive some wonderful support that I will forever cherish. And again, I understand that by putting myself out there and sharing my journey with some people I am close to and even some people that I am not close to, I am opening myself up to a variety of opinions on TTC. But it doesnt make it any less annoying.

On the TTC front, my body is officially on an Ovulation Strike. CD 21 and no O yet. I am hoping it will happen soon so I can take a break from, ya know, the thing you have to do to get pregnant. Girl needs a rest! :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their week! 9 days until Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"A Baby Changes Everything"

This song by Faith Hill is amazing. They played it at church yesterday during a Christmas skit and it really made me think.

When the angel came to Mary and told her that she was to be the mother of Jesus, she was overwhelmed. And although she did become the mother of Jesus Christ, her path was anything but easy. She was oftentimes ridiculed for being an unwed mother and suffered persecution for this. She was with Jesus throughout his entire life and eventually watched him suffer and die on the cross. Yet she never questioned God's plan. God saw early on that she was obedient, patient and faithful and he rewarded her with the greatest gift of all- to be a mother.

I had a friend tell me that she is afraid that I am relying on my faith alone to get me through my TTC journey. Its not that at all. Its just that I am making my faith the center of my journey, where it should have been the whole time. We will still pursue IF treatment and I know how far we will go with those treatments to have a baby. But I also know there are no guarantees. And I have to be realistic- I might not ever have a biological baby. It just might not happen for me. But thats where my faith comes in. My faith is what reminds me that no matter what happens, God has a plan for me. My faith is what I am relying on to heal my heart though this process. For me, its what I need to get through this.

On the TTC front- eh, my body is confusing me. After my last + OPK, I took my temp a few times and it was low, low, low so I know I didnt ovulate. Over the past couple days, I got some "near positives" and more O pains so its quite possible I O'd yesterday. I will take my temp in a few more days to confirm.

Have a good week! Oh, here is the video of the Faith Hill song:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Or maybe I didnt

After being all excited about my early O this cycle, it would appear that I have not O'd. I took my temp this AM and its still low. I also still have O pains and got another + OPK today so that the end of that story. It was nice to think about a shorter cycle but I am ok with waiting until CD 18-20 to O. I am just fortunate that I do so I am not going to be picky.

Other than that, not much going on here. Im excited that Christmas is 2 weeks away. We have alot to keep us busy in the next couple weeks between holiday parties and family events. I love this time of the year!

Finally, in honor of a new year and my attempt at a new perspective on my life, I am working on making my 101 things to do in 1001 day list. Have you ever heard of this? I will post the website below but its kinda cool. I am fine-tuning my list and plan to post it on here before the new year. I have to say- I am already really excited about completing items on my list, its helped me be excited again about things.

Have a great day!

Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Great Website

Hello and happy Tuesday! Better than Monday, right?

I wanted to share a couple great website that someone shared with me. The website is for an organization called Stepping Stones, which is a division of Bethany Christian Services. You can check both websites out here:

1. Bethany Christian Services:

2. Stepping Stones:

I have found that the sites are both informative and comforting. In addition, you can subscribe to the Stepping Stones newsletter. I received my copy in the mail yesterday and they will continue to email me a copy from here on out.

So anyways, I just wanted to share the info, in case it could be helpful to anyone else.

Oh and I was all worried about being out of town in February during my fertile time (yes, I counted the days, Im so pathetic) but it appears that I worried for nothing. Although today is only CD 13 for me, I have horrible O cramps and a positive OPK. So it appears I will be ovulating a good 3-5 days earlier than "normal" Yipee! :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their day!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Monday, December 8, 2008

My weekend

We had a nice weekend, pretty low key. I have all of my Christmas shopping done except I need to get some stocking stuffers. I also started wrapping, Im about half done. As much as I despise the crowds during Christmas season, I think I detest wrapping gifts even more. I always cut the paper too short, I use too much tape, I cant get them to look nice. Oh well, its the thought that counts, right? (atleast I hope, haha)

Also, here is a picture of our tree and the small village I put underneath it. I have alot of village houses but only use a few each year.

In TTC news, well, I dont really have any. I am on CD 13 and just waiting until I get some signs of O. I will probably start with the OPK in a couple days, since I have not been O'ing until later. So we'll see how this cycle goes!

Hope everyone has a good week!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fertility, Work and Diets

I have been really getting myself in gear on the TTC front. From the spiritual side, I have been reciting new prayers and changing my focus. I can honestly say, I feel a difference. Its hard to explain but the feeling is something with less burden and more hope, so thats good. I am also looking into finding a new RE. For my own personal reasons, I just didnt like the first one we went to. I now have a new list and I have begun calling around, checking insurance and looking into availability. Our plan is to be with a new RE by the end of March.

And why the end of March and not NOW?! Well, I am expecting the next few months to be pretty busy. Christmas, Dan's 30th birthday and then mine. And then I will be traveling for work. I am fortunate to participate in a training program where I will get to travel with 2 other people in the company and train the rest of the property adjusters. Its a great experience and I am honored to have been included. But that means I will be going to Atlanta, Cincy, Columbus, Indy and Akron during the middle of February until the middle of March. As a result, I want to get through all of that before I bring the new RE into the mix.

I also have a question for my fellow bloggers. How much, if any, do you guys think diet effects fertility? When we first started TTC, I read tons of articles on it and was all about eating healthy, no pop, watching my sugar, blah blah. That quickly fell to the way-side and I have resorted to my "normal" eating habits which are, well, less than favorable (at best.) I dont eat alot but when I do, I eat mostly junk. Sure, I have some fruit once in awhile but I normally wash it down with a nice Pepsi. Blah. I dont know, Im just wondering what kind of info you guys have come up with on the connection of diet and fertility. Is this something I need to consider? I dont know. Enlighten me :)

"I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Good day

Today was a nice day. Dan and I are both off of work for a couple days so we were able to get some shopping done, clean and do some cooking. It was productive yet relaxing. Also, I got over half of my shopping done, woohoo! Now I just need to start Christmas cards and begin wrapping gifts.

I was so overwhelmed by all of the open and heartfelt responses that people left on my blog yesterday. I am constantly amazed at people's perspective and their willingness to offer it so whole-heartedly to someone who needs it. So thank you, I appreciate it.

In an attempt to act on my deisre to give my TTC journey to God, I searched last night for a prayer that I could begin saying. Of course, in true Shannon-style, I came up with a song instead. So here it is:

I like the entire song but I love this verse:

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Hope everyone is having a great week!