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Friday, March 22, 2013

housekeeping


Bet this photo got your attention, huh. 
How could it not? I wish I looked that good cleaning the floor.

A few housekeeping items that I wanted to cover with y'all before I go MIA for 7 days on my mission trip.  

First of all, many bloggers have been talking about google friend connect going away. However, when I do a google search, I can only find bloggers writing about it. Nothing legitimate directly from Google.    If anyone knows where the initial source of this information is, please link to it in the comments.
I want to make sure it's not just bloggy rumors spreading out of control.

But just in case the rumor is true, I'd love it if you'd kindly follow me on bloglovin so that we can stay connected. If you don't use that site, how about we stay besties through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? You are bound to use one of those, I know you do. ;) I just don't want to loose contact with all of my lovely blog friends.

Secondly or lastly (depends on how you look at it), some of you ask me some fantastic questions in the comments on this blog. Other times, I get some riveting thoughts in the comments that I want to respond to. But when I go into my email to respond, I get the dreaded no-reply email message. Many people don't even realize they're a no-reply blogger.  I didn't realize that I was but recently fixed that. Thanks Bethany for telling me. If you've ever asked me a question and haven't gotten a response...no-reply blogger is probably why. Hopefully you feel compelled to click here to learn more about this no-reply business so I can get back atcha if you ask me a question. 

Cyber hugs to all of you..and baby dust to those who need it! 
See ya in 170 hours.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

isolation


One of the biggest things that we struggle with during infertility is feeling alienated. We feel left out of the "baby mama" club. We feel lost and lonely. It is hard to know where we fit in...in a world where everyone we know is husband, wife and little ones.

To protect our hearts, we sometimes distance ourselves from the people we love...especially when they are pregnant and have new babies. Mostly because it hurts too much. Seeing their pregnant bellies and precious new babies is a constant reminder of our continued failure. Of our inability to conceive the one thing that we have dreamt about our entire lives.

It drudges up the hurt that we've felt over all of our years of infertility...the tears, the damage to our marriage, the pain of medical procedures and shots, all the failed cycles. We relive the disappointment and sadness of every negative pregnancy test. We think of all of the experiences of pregnancy and motherhood that we may never get to experience. 

But our real friends, don't give up on us. They cut us some slack and they seek to understand rather than judge. They love us through our struggle and try to put themselves in our shoes. Even though they'll truly never understand how devastating infertility is without going through it themselves.

 I'm very fortunate to have so many friends and loved ones that make the effort even though it is hard. I understand that people don't know what to say or how to make this better for me. Because no one can. It's a difficult thing for them and for me. 

Sometimes when people get pregnant and you are still very much not pregnant...the dynamic of the friendship can change. They may feel it's easier to cut you off right there or it may happen slowly over time. Maybe when it's time to determine the guest list for their baby shower. Or it happens when they decide not to invite you to their kid's first birthday party. 

They probably think you wouldn't attend their baby shower anyways. Or it would be too hard for you. Or you wouldn't want to come to a kid's birthday party when you're the only one who doesn't have kids. Well, if you are reading this and you have a friend who's struggling with infertility, I'm here to tell you something. Even though all of the statements above might be true, we'd still like the choice.

It is our battle to fight. And it's not just pregnancy and babies. I have a friend who's little boy is three years old and she just had her second child. Four years ago, we were trying to conceive together so our kids would be the same age. Every time I see her oldest, it reminds me that if I were as blessed as she has been...I'd have a toddler right now. Maybe even a second child. 

And that will never change. If I remain childless, every benchmark her little boy experiences will be bittersweet for me. I'll think...if I weren't infertile, I'd have a little boy or girl going to kindergarten now or graduating high school. But then I will smile through my sadness and celebrate with her. 

It is so important not to give your infertile friends even more of a reason to feel isolated. Our long journey to motherhood (which we may end in empty arms) is hard enough. Don't add to your friend's pain by cutting her out our your life. No doubt, she may not be able to come to your shower or kid's birthday party. But if you're really her friend, you'll let her make that decision. 


Saturday, March 16, 2013

are you a good gift giver?

Most people love getting thoughtful, personal gifts.  It makes them feel good! So it begs the question...what makes a "good gift"? And how do we become better gift givers? 

Here are five tips that might help improve your gift-giving skills.

1. When selecting a gift, consider the person's hobbies or interests
At my girlfriend's Sip & See, A and I gave her this cute onesie. She and her husband both ride dirt bikes and we know their little girls will grow up riding them too. Plus, the four of us met at a motocross end of season race party so it was completely fitting for us to give this gift. Needless to say, they loved it!

2. Decide how much you want to spend and search for ideas online.
One of my blogger friends was really struggling recently. I wanted to send her a little something to make her laugh as she has a great sense of humor. And I know, all too well, that nothing cures the infertility blues quite like laughter. I found this t-shirt in my online search. It was an unexpected gift that completely brightened her day.


3. Unless you're absolutely sure of the person's clothing taste, purchase gift cards instead of clothing.
There's nothing worse than getting something you'll never wear. You feel guilty that the article of clothing will never be worn and the money spent on it was completely wasted. Gift certificates allow people to select something that suits their style and ensures that it fits properly. 

4. Customize, customize, customize. 
A flask with his initials. Personal stationary. A custom iPhone cover. A photo key chain or travel mug. People love seeing themselves and their loved ones on their everyday items. It is a constant reminder of the love they have in their lives.


5. When selecting the gift, consider the occasion
If someone is celebrating a special time in their life, give them a commemorative gift. Your gift may be the most cherished since it will remind them of this monumental occasion.

Here are some great examples.
A tote for the bride-to-be

An ipad cover for a newbie blogger

You get the picture.

Cafe Press is honestly one of my favorite sites for buying custom gifts that really show you put a lot of thought into the gift you are giving. And isn't that all people really want...to know that you care about them?

What is your favorite gift that you given or received?



Thursday, March 14, 2013

currently...

Currently I am...

Reading: Dark Places. After I finished Gone Girl, it was suggested that I should read one of Gillian Fynn's other books. This book is really good but the premise behind the book is beyond dark. It is downright disturbing. 

Listening to: Spa music. I know, it's random. A and I have been tuning to the music channel through our cable provider while we are working, cleaning house, or cooking. It's very peaceful.

Watching: Mindless and ridiculous reality TV shows like Bachelor, Celebrity Apprentice, Survivor and Ultimate Fighter. Hubby and I watch these shows together. It's our thing.

Relishing: My new relationship with this muscular, strong, handsome fellow named Ariiq. He is a beautiful, well behaved Arabian. Ariiq has been very patient with me as I transition from western to english riding. The saddle is so much smaller. It's been challenging but fun!

Melting over: My new scarf. How cute is this thing.

Addicted to: Green shakes. They are the best! It is so nice to be able to fit in so much nutrients into one meal. You can really pack in the veggies with just a small amount of fruit and it still tastes good.

Excited about: My mission trip to Mexico. 9 days til departure. Yikes!

Cooking: So many good vegan recipes. Here is one of my faves and super easy.

Kale Avocado Salad
1 head of shredded kale
1 large diced tomato or red bell pepper
1 1/2 chopped avocado
3 tbsp hempseed oil
2 tbsp finely diced green onion
1 juiced lemon
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Handful of pumpkin seeds

In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together, squeezing as you mix to "wilt" the kale and cream the avocado. Top with pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Waiting for: My consult with Dr. Surrey at CCRM. Finished all of my paperwork and got all of my records in. My appointment is May 1st but I'm on the cancellation list so hopefully it won't take that long.

Thankful for: This guy.
Your turn. What's currently going on in your world?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

mission trip: mexico


Going on a mission trip with my church is something I've always wanted to do - both to help others who need it most and for my own spiritual growth. 

My church is taking a group of high school students in our community and is in need of adult leaders. So, I'll be going to build homes as well as mentor youth. What an honor and opportunity. To make a difference in even one poverty-stricken family's life with the work of my own hands! I feel truly blessed to be able to have this experience. I've heard people who've attended previous mission trips state that "you don't come back the same person". That "this experience changes you". I hope that it changes me...for the better.

Hubby can be protective sometimes and this was one of those times. He's very concerned for my safety and doesn't really want me going to Mexico in the current climate with the drug war going on. Despite his pleas for me not to go, I'm going anyways. It is just something that I have to do. So hopefully I make it back unharmed otherwise he'll be quite mad at me for leaving him widowed.

A did have a realization that made me smile. He said "I know you'd rather me not race dirt bikes but I do it anyways. So I support you if you decide to go...even though I don't want you to." I love that man so much.

I'll be keeping a journal and will share my stories and pictures on my blog when I return. Don't worry...I'm not going for two weeks. If you've been on a mission trip that hugely impacted your life and would like to share your experience on my blog (in a guest post) while I'm away, please email me at dreamingofdimples (at) gmail (dot) com.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

crush crush baby


So I don't do link up theme posts very often, probably because I want to write about what's on my mind and that doesn't always match up with the link up topic of the day.
But today, I'm going to do it.

I'm linking up with Erin (who y'all know that I love) for her blog crush link up. Although I have way too many blog crushes to mention and still get to bed at decent hour, here are a few of the ones that have been on my mind lately.

My longest standing crush for her uniqueness:
Gentri at Gentri Lee

My go-to gal for all things infertility:
Kharini at My Fertility Blog

For her unmatched fashion sense:
Anna James at Fash Boulevard

Fellow ad gal and endo fighter:
Suzanne at Our Journey to Baby Bump...

The most descriptive, informational IF blogger:
Emily at Eat Love and Procreate

Doesn't give a sh*t and ya gotta love her for it:
Raven at Don't Quote the Raven

Newest blog bestie who always makes me smile:
Aubrey at Two Hearts and One Dream

Funny as hell:
Erin at Living in Yellow

This girl knows how to bargain shop:
Katie at For Lauren and Lauren...

Who are your blog crushes?


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

what would giuliana and bill do?


I know, I know.

Consult with CCRM.
So that is exactly what we're going to do, my friends.

I adore G&B, in case I haven't told you. When we first started having trouble conceiving, a few of my former co-workers told me about their show. Once, I found it, I was hooked. Especially when they were cycling. And I think they are extremely brave, as celebrities, to put their infertility out there for all the world to see. Especially when most celebs are silent when they experience infertility. It helps to raise awareness for of the struggle that so many of us endure to have a family. 

When G&B switched clinics to CCRM, I compared all of the different US clinic's success rates and CCRM was pretty impressive. However, we decided to move forward with the clinic in our area whose numbers were also very good. But after my cancelled cycle, I lost a tiny bit of faith. 

I was bummed that I had to ask my doctor to test my AMH level to ensure that I didn't have diminished ovarian reserve. My test came back normal, by the way. So that is a big relief. Then I came across this article basically stating that the long Lupron protocol for IVF doesn't work well on people with low BMI. Lovely, I have low BMI.

So why, I ask myself, did my doctor do that protocol? I know it works for "most" people and they don't know how you're going to respond to the drugs until you're on them. But still. I trusted 110% for the first IVF attempt and now I'm starting to wonder if I should start asking a few more questions. Do a little more research on my own. Maybe get a second opinion?

We will likely stay with our clinic for this next IVF attempt but I want a second opinion from Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM. Hopefully he will recommend the exact same protocol as my doctor is planning to do next. But if he doesn't, I want to know why he would do it differently. It will give me some information to question my doctor. I just don't want to have any regrets.

My unwavering hope that this next IVF will work has not returned. Maybe it's because I have some work to do so that I can feel comfortable again...at least as comfortable as one can feel in this situation. So that's the haps on the IVF front.

Monday, March 4, 2013

what if we all stopped waiting for someone else to do it.

It's too easy to live in our comfortable lives and not appreciate everything we have. To even feel sorry for ourselves for the very first world problems that we have. Our car broke down, work isn't going the way we want it to, our kids are being brats, our husband isn't paying enough attention to us...whatever we aren't happy with at the moment. 

But we have to remind ourselves that by much of the world's standards, we are so very fortunate and our problems so very small. Many of the basic things that we take for granted, others don't have. Clean water to drink, food to fill our stomachs, and shelter to keep us warm. 

We're all aware that these problems exist around the world. But we try to put it out of our minds most of the time. Or at least, I do. To let myself "off the hook" by telling myself "I'm just one person...there's nothing that I could really do" or "someone else will do it..someone more capable or with more resources". 

Not anymore.
I'm not going to wait for someone else to do it. To be the change that I want to see in the world. It's gotta be me and it's gotta be now. And if enough people drew the line in the sand and said the same thing...wow, what we could accomplish!

And yes, I am only one person and my resources are limited. But that is no excuse to do nothing. 
Instead of doing IVF this cycle, I'm going to Mexico for a week with a group of high school students and other adult leaders in my church to build homes for poor families in need. This is how I'm kicking off my decision to start being the change

You can start today as well.
If you really want to. Start small. Sign up for Big Brothers, Big Sisters in your area. Make Easter baskets with your kids and work through an organization to deliver them to families in need. Sew clothes and send them to children abroad who are in need. Whatever speaks to you. There are so many small ways to help those in need and make the world a better place.

What will you do to be the change you want to see in the world?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

why?


i live with a disease called endometriosis.
if you say you have cancer, people understand what that means. 
if you stay home from work with a migraine, your boss comprehends what ails you.
if you say you have endometriosis, you see a blank stare looking back at you.

how do you tell people, in a way that they can easily understand, i have endometrial cells that grow outside of my uterus? how do you tell them that this causes crippling menstrual pain, fatigue and infertility in a casual conversation? how do you get them to understand that it is not "just cramps" or "female issues" that everyone experiences? 

i hide my pain most of the time. the pain that so many others don't understand. or i tell people my stomach is upset...something they can wrap their arms around. 

but why? 
why do i have to do this? why aren't people aware? why don't they understand? why haven't they heard of this disease that affects an estimated 176 million girls and women worldwide?

why is it that many doctors don't even understand this disease? they continue to misdiagnose or fail to diagnose it for an average of eight years. imagine knowing something is wrong with your body and telling your doctor...only to be told "it's nothing" or being misdiagnosed over and over again.

endometriosis is common. it may even be genetic. but no one ever talks about it. why is the cause unknown? why is there no cure? i'm expected to suffer through the symptoms or "treat" (which means mask) them until i ultimately get a full hysterectomy - removing my womb, fallopian tubes and both ovaries...basically everything that makes me a woman. i'm also at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. sigh. 
why?

there are too many people suffering for us to just turn a blind eye.
can someone please pay attention to us?  

my body is a battleground. 
and right now endo is winning.

march is endometriosis awareness month.
so i can't keep quiet. i must do my part to spread the word about all things related to endo.
below are some additional resources, if you think you or someone you know may have this disease...


article: struggle of living with endometriosis
myths and misconceptions about endometriosis
blog post: march 2012 - facts about endometriosis
research: violet petal study is accepting endo patients for an investigational medication study
donate: to make a donation to fund research that may prevent endometriosis in the next generation of women, click here



Friday, March 1, 2013

We're giving away $400 to Tiffany's. Yes, seriously!

27 Amazing Bloggers
1 Winner: $400 Tiffany & Co Gift Card
1 Mandatory Entry + lots of bonus entries
There is just one mandatory entry and that is to leave a comment below telling me "what would you buy at Tiffany's with the gift card". The rest are bonus entries and totally up to you!

A few weeks ago, my hubby rocked my world when he came home with a little blue box. It got me thinking that every girl could use a little more bling in her life. And who better to give it to you than yours truly...and a few of my blog friends. If you haven't visited these ladies' awesome blogs, you're missing out. Stop by and say hello.

What are you waiting for? Get those entries in. One last thing, please have breakfast at Tiffany's if you're the lucky winner. Just because that is pretty cool.
{And yes, I borrowed the giveaway layout from my girl Casey because I love it.}
Dreaming of Dimples | Lemons Avocados and the Bay | The Shine Project 

Because Shanna Said So | Gentri Lee | Ramblings of a Southern Belle
Meg O. on the Go | Along Abbey Road | Perception is Everything
Lipgloss and Crayons | A Night Owl Blog | Running in Stilettos 
Life After I "Dew" | Her Late Night Cravings | Brunch with Amber
Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife | The Sunshine Diary | lala Lists
The Life of Bon | Oh So Amelia | Choose to be Happy Blog
Travel Babbles | Sparking Footsteps | So Shay
Don't Quote the Raven | Messy. Dirty. Hair | For Lauren and Lauren

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